Yuri Ushakov, former Russian ambassador to the U.S., said a prisoner swap involving basketball player Brittney Griner and arms trafficker Viktor Bout was not a priority for the Kremlin at the moment. However, he remarked that U.S. President Joe Biden is pushing for the prisoner exchange in time for the midterm elections.
Ushakov, who is currently a foreign policy adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, made the statements during an interview on the state-run Russia-1 channel.
“In this tense situation – the way I see it, [Biden] thinks first and foremost about the upcoming midterm elections. [This] is why he keeps bringing up the need to return the basketball player who was arrested for delivering drugs,” he said. “But this is not the most important issue that concerns us.”
The Biden administration has been reportedly in talks with the Kremlin to secure the release of Griner, who was arrested in February for possessing a vaping pen filled with cannabis oil – which is banned in Russia. The center for the Women’s National Basketball Association’s Phoenix Mercury pleaded guilty to a drug smuggling charge after months in Russian custody. In turn, Washington will release Bout, who was sentenced to 25 years behind bars in the United States.
Political analysts concurred with Ushakov’s observations, pointing out that this is the second time in October that foreign leaders called out Biden for his “requests” that sought to rally voters behind the Democratic Party in the coming midterm elections. Saudi Arabia earlier divulged that the U.S. president was asking the country to delay its oil production cut until after the midterms in November 2022. (Related: Impeachable offense: Biden pressured Saudis to ramp up oil production to try to help Dems in midterms.)
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken admitted in July that the White House also sought to free Paul Whelan, another detainee, alongside Griner. Whelan was jailed in Russia over accusations of espionage, which he vehemently denied.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, meanwhile, made an impassioned plea in support of Griner on Oct. 18 during the team’s championship ring ceremony – which also coincided with her birthday. “We want to continue to use our platform and the opportunity to shout out a very special member of the basketball community.”
Griner thanked her supporters via a statement released by her lawyers. She wrote: “Thank you everyone for fighting so hard to get me home. All the support and love are definitely helping me.”
NBA free agent Enes Kanter Freedom, however, said the prisoner swap between Bout and Griner is “not a fair trade.” He told Fox News that while he wanted the WNBA star to come home, the U.S. could not exchange her for someone responsible for so much loss of life.
According to Freedom, the Russian arms trafficker – dubbed the “merchant of death” – is considered to be extremely dangerous and is “pretty much a terrorist.” He explained: “Bout is responsible for thousands of lives and could harm the U.S. in the long run.”
The Turkish-born center found an ally in Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the U.S. National Security Council.
“Holding two wrongfully detained Americans hostage for the release of a Russian assassin in a third country’s custody is not a serious counter-offer,” she said. “It is a bad faith attempt to avoid the deal on the table that Russia should take.”
CancelDemocrats.news has more stories about Biden’s desperate moves to boost support for the Democrats in the coming midterm elections.
Watch the below video that talks about the Biden regime’s proposal to trade Griner with Bout.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.
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