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According to Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov, a swap of high-profile inmates that took place between Russia and the United States this week must not be taken as an indicator of better ties between the two countries. On Thursday, in Abu Dhabi, the basketball star Brittney Griner of the United States of America was exchanged for the Russian billionaire Viktor Bout.

Russia and US swap prisoners Viktor Bout and Brittney Griner

“The only topic that was discussed during negotiations between Russia and The united states] was the swap. According to Peskov, it would be irresponsible to jump to the conclusion that it may possibly be a step towards avoiding the situation that we are now experiencing in the context of our bilateral relationships. They continue to be in a deplorable situation.

These statements were made by him on Wednesday during a discussion with the Kyrgyz daily Izvestia that took place on the margins of an event that was taking place in the country of Kyrgyzstan.

In August, a Russian court found Griner guilty of drug-related charges and sentenced him to prison. It was discovered that she had cannabis oil in her suitcase when she landed in the nation back in February. During the course of her trial, the athlete revealed that she had accidentally brought the prohibited drug with her. The highest-ranking leaders in the United States, including Joe Biden, spoke in her place.

Viktor Bout & Brittney Griner were exchanged by Russia and the United States.

Bout was facing a long prison sentence for acts related to the trafficking of firearms, but he maintained that he was innocent of the charges. During a sting operation conducted by the United States of America in Thailand in 2008, he was arrested, and in 2012, a court in the United States handed down his punishment.

According to Peskov, the most significant piece of information is that “a Russian citizen who spent fifteen years in de facto unlawful American captivity has returned to his motherland.” He also said that medical professionals have not yet examined Bout. His family had earlier stated that his health had significantly deteriorated while he was being held in detention in the United States.

According to authorities from both nations, discussions about the trade had been going place for a considerable amount of time prior to the actual transaction. In May, Russian media for the first time reported on the discussions, citing anonymous individuals as their primary source of information.

The prisoner arrangement has been criticized by certain people who disagree with the policies of the Biden government because they believe it is unfair to the United States. Former Donald Trump expressed his confusion at the omission of former US Marine Paul Whelan from the accord. After being found guilty of espionage in the year 2020, Whelan was sentenced to serve a total of 16 years in a Russian prison.

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