WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden spoke to Sheryl Greiner, wife of WNBA star Britney Greiner on the phone on Wednesday, and the president plans to send The basketball player has a message while still being held in Russia.
“The President called Cheryl to assure her that he was working to secure the speedy release of Britney, as well as the release of Paul Whelan and other American citizens who were wrongfully held or held hostage in Russia and around the world.” House said in a statement. “He also read her the draft letter the president is sending to Britney Greiner today.”
According to the White House, Biden was joined on the call by Vice President Kamala Harris.
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The White House said the president “has offered his support to the family of Cheryl and Britney, and has committed to ensuring that they receive all possible assistance while his administration pursues all avenues to bring Britney home.”
Biden’s letter was in response to a handwritten letter from Britney Grenier’s representatives She was handed over to the White House on Monday to express her fears that she could remain in prison in Russia forever. In her message, she Biden called for her and other detainees to be repatriated in Russia.
“As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I am terrified to be here forever,” Greiner wrote. “Please do everything in your power to get us home. I voted for the first time in 2020 and voted for you. I trust you. I still have so much to do with my freedom that you can help get it back.”
Greiner, a two-time US Olympic gold medalist and seven-time WNBA All-Star with Phoenix Mercury, has been in Russian prison since February 17, when authorities arrested her at an airport near Moscow and accused her of carrying cannabis oil. in vape cartridges.
The sentence of conviction can be up to 10 years. Less than 1% of Russian defendants have been acquitted, according to the Associated Press.
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National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had other calls with Sheryl Greiner including last weekend. Biden directed his national security team to keep in regular contact with Cheryl and Britney’s family, according to the White House.
Contributing: Rebecca Morin
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