Although Brittney Griner is still detained in Russia, it appears that talks between Washington and Moscow are moving well. According to the most recent Associated Press report, CIA Director Bill Burns will meet with Sergey Naryshkin, head of the SVR spy agency, in Turkey on Monday to talk about a variety of topics. Griner’s detention and a prospective prisoner exchange to secure her release will be among the subjects they discuss.
The proposal was reported to the AP by a member of the White House National Security Council, who chose to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to make public comments about the meeting.
Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s SVR spy agency, and Burns, according to the official, would not discuss ending the war in Ukraine. The Biden administration has pushed for the release of two Americans held in Russia, Brittney Griner of the Phoenix Mercury and Paul Whelan of Michigan Corporate Security, and Burns is anticipated to bring up their cases, according to AP.
There is undoubtedly mounting pressure on the US government and the Joe Biden administration to move quickly and avoid dragging out the matter, but it is unclear how the meeting will impact the talks to return Brittney Griner home.
According to reports, Griner was recently transported to a Russian penitentiary colony, raising questions about his health given that these facilities are notorious for torture and arduous labor. In Russia, the Phoenix Mercury player was found guilty of cocaine smuggling and given a nine-year prison sentence.