WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The Biden administration is taking new steps to try and bring WNBA star Brittney Griner home from Russia.
This comes after months of public pressure from Griner’s family and Griner herself, who personally wrote to President Joe Biden while being jailed pleading for her freedom.
Griner is currently on trial in Moscow, where she has been detained since February on drug charges. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
According to the U.S. State Department, the president has signed off on a prisoner swap.
“The president is prepared to make tough decisions if it means the safe return of Americans,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Blinken says he plans to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss the potential deal in the coming days.
The offer also demands the release of Paul Whelan, who has been detained in Russia since 2018 and serving a 16-year sentence on espionage charges.
The White House is keeping a tight lip on the deal’s details but is likely offering up convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in the trade. For years, Russia has called for Bout’s release. He was sentenced to 25 years in 2012.