International

US says Russia has barred embassy from visiting Griner

The United States said on Tuesday that Russia barred the U.S. Embassy from visiting detained WNBA star Brittney Griner multiple times in May.

“#AMBSullivan:  For the third time in a month, Russian authorities have denied an Embassy visit to detained U.S. citizen Brittney Griner. This is unacceptable. We call on @mfa_russia to provide timely consular access, in line with Russia’s intl & bilateral obligations,” the U.S. Embassy in Moscow tweeted.

Griner has been detained in Russia since February after cannabis vape cartridges were allegedly found in her luggage. Her detention was reportedly extended for another 30 days last week.

The basketball star is widely seen as a political pawn amid Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine, which has lasted close to three months and resulted in stiff sanctions against Moscow.

Earlier this month, the State Department declared that the WNBA player had been detained wrongfully in Russia.

“When it comes to Brittney Griner, we are working very closely with her team. Her case is a top priority for us,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told CNN in an interview last month. “We’re in regular contact with her team.”

A State Department spokesperson confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a private conversation with Cherelle Griner, the WNBA player’s wife.

The spokesperson said the State Department was in regular contact with all families of those who are either wrongfully detained or held hostage abroad.

Tags Antony Blinken Brittney Griner Brittney Griner Russia-Ukraine war WNBA

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video