Last Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov to accept the “substantial proposal” submitted by the US trade Griner and Paul Whelan for a Russian arms dealer with high-level military and government connections.
Viktor Bout is currently serving a 25-year sentence in an Illinois federal prison. He was arrested in Thailand in 2008 for selling weapons to terrorists conspiring to kill Americans. He was extradited to the US in 2010. And his sentence started in 2011.
Russian legal expert Jamison Firestone said prior to Griner’s conviction, ““They are going to give her a lot of time. Then they are going to trade her.”