Biden calls Griner sentencing in Russia ‘unacceptable’

US President Joe Biden brands as “unacceptable” a Russian court’s sentencing of US basketball star Brittney Griner to nine years in prison.

“Russia is wrongfully detaining Brittney. It’s unacceptable and I call on Russia to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends and teammates,” Biden says in a statement.

The US president reiterates that he will “work tirelessly and pursue every possible avenue” to repatriate Griner and another detained American in Russia, Paul Whelan. Negotiations are reportedly underway to swap the two for Russians incarcerated in the United States, including the notorious arms smuggler Viktor Bout.

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