Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted that there is a possibility that further U.S.-Russia prisoner exchanges will take place following the two countries reaching an agreement to exchange WNBA star Brittney Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
The Russian state-owned news agency RIA has reported that Putin commented on the possibility of further negotiations and compromises. Reportedly he also added that Russian officials were open to the possibility of having further such negotiations in the future.
It was further added that he was the one responsible for the exchange taking place.
The United States managed to secure Griner’s release from Russia after she had been stuck in the country for around 9 months. The charges for her detainment included the possession of vape cartridges with cannabis oil. She pled guilty to the charges against her and got a nine-year imprisonment sentence.
Bout had been serving a 25-year sentence for various different charges including conspiracy to kill a U.S. citizen and assistance to a terrorist organization.
The Biden administration has spent months trying to negotiate the release of Griner as well as the return of former Marine Paul Whelan, both of whom have been detained by the country. However, President Biden’s administration has noted that Whelan’s case is handled completely differently and that Griner could not be included in the same deal as Bout.