The Joe Biden administration has offered to exchange convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout as part of a deal to release detained basketball player, Brittney Griner.

In February, queer WNBA star Brittney Griner was detained in Russia after authorities found cannabis oil in her luggage. On Wednesday (27 July), state secretary Antony Blinken said the White House has struck a deal with the Kremlin to secure her release. “There was a substantial proposal on the table weeks ago to facilitate their release.

Our governments have communicated repeatedly and directly on that proposal,” Blinken said. “And I’ll use the conversation to follow up personally and I hope, move us toward a resolution.” At a state department news conference, Blinken said that in the coming days he will grill his Russian counterpart, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, for a response to the offer.