Britney Greiner (@EVGENIA NOVOZHENINA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Cheryl Greiner has said she is “terrified” for her wife, WNBA star Britney Grenier, amid her continued imprisonment in Russia.
Greiner told CBS Mornings’ Gail King that her wife was a “hostage” and described the surreal nature of the discussions to secure her release.
“It’s like a movie to me,” she said. “I never thought in any world before that our president and a foreign head of state would sit down to discuss my wife’s freedom.”
Russia has held Greiner for 230 days since she was arrested at a Moscow airport in February after e-cigarette cartridges containing cannabis oil were found in her luggage.
In August, the 31-year-old Texas native Rule To nine years in prison after pleading guilty to drug charges. She argued during the trial that it was “an outright error”.
“This is why I plead guilty to the charges against me,” Greiner said in court. But I had no intention of breaking any Russian laws.”
US Department of State change
Greiner was placed “unjustly detained” in May, and the government has been engaged in discussions with Russia about a possible prisoner exchange.
After the United States offered Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for Greiner and fellow detained Paul Whelan, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told CNN Jim Sioto In July, Russia responded with a “bad faith attempt” in a counteroffer.
Sheryl and Elizabeth Whelan, Paul’s sister, met with President Joe Biden in mid-September to receive an update on the administration’s efforts to secure their release.
“The President convened the meetings to affirm his continued commitment to working through all available avenues to bring Britney and Paul home safely. He then questioned the well-being of Elizabeth, Cheryl and their families during this painful time,” White House Press Secretary Karen Jean said. Pierre said in statement.
Greiner was traveling to Russia to play for UMMC Ekaterinburg during the WNBA offseason, as she has done since 2014, when she was taken into custody.
Many WNBA players compete abroad during the winter for extra income, but those who usually play in the Russian Premier League are going elsewhere this year.
Nearly a dozen players went to Russia in the latest season, and he told them all, including superstar Brianna Stewart, Doug Feinberg From the Associated Press last month they won’t be back.
“Honestly, my time in Russia has been wonderful, but especially with PJ being unjustly held there, no one is going there until she gets home,” Stewart said. “I think people now, you know, want to go abroad and if the money wasn’t that much different, they want to be in a better place.”
Griner is one of the most decorated players of her generation with seven overseas titles – four EuroLeagues and three Russian Leagues – along with a WNBA Championship with Phoenix Mercury in 2014 and a national title at Baylor in 2012.
She is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist as part of Team USA in 2016 and 2021.