After a Russian court found Brittney Griner guilty of drug smuggling and sentenced her to 9 years of jail time, US officials say that they believe the state of play on trying to get Griner out of Russia remains the same for now.
The US made what the administration has described as a “substantial offer” to Russia to exchange both Griner and Paul Whelan for convicted Russian arms trafficker Victor Bout. The administration will continue to try to move forward on those negotiations and press Russia to accept that offer, officials said Thursday.
But, as one official pointed out, this process expected to continue to take some time — and it is ultimately up to Russia how quickly it wants to move.
“The ball is in Russia’s court” right now, one official said.