“If the president is working so hard to get someone out of Russia freed for drugs, why don’t we free people in America who are incarcerated for the same reasons,” Musk said.
At the same time, he said that people should not be deprived of their liberty for committing non-violent acts.
Meanwhile, US presidential spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said on August 5 that the prisoner exchange with Russia is a priority for the United States.
Biden on the same day said that he hoped for the return to the United States of basketball player Brittney Griner. He assured that Washington is actively working on its exchange.
The day before, the Khimki City Court sentenced Greiner to nine years in a penal colony and a fine of 1 million rubles for drug smuggling.
Two-time Olympic basketball champion with the US team Greiner was detained by customs officers at Sheremetyevo Airport in February. She was found to have vapes with cannabis oil. On July 7, the athlete fully admitted her guilt, stating that she had no intent to commit a crime.
On June 15, Biden assured that his administration would continue to work and use all possible ways, in addition to Greiner, to return Paul Whelan, convicted of espionage, as soon as possible.
At the end of July, American media reported that Washington offered to exchange Russian businessman Viktor Bout for Greiner and Whelan. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken confirmed that the United States had sent Moscow an offer for an exchange, but did not provide details.
On August 5, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Russian Federation was ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the United States, but within the framework of the channel that was previously agreed upon by Russian and US Presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden. According to him, “no matter what anyone says publicly, this channel remains relevant.”
Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that Greiner has the right to use the pardon procedure. He also pointed out the need for non-public nature of negotiations on possible prisoner exchanges between the Russian Federation and the United States.