Through the mediation of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman and UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the complicated exchange of prisoners between the United States and Russia was completed.

How was the operation?

Basketball player Brittney Greiner arrived on a private jet from Moscow after Russian authorities released her, in connection with the reception of Russian citizen Viktor Bout on a private jet from Washington after the US authorities released him, according to a statement from Saudi Arabia.

The operation took place in the presence of specialists from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The American and Russian sides received their citizens in preparation for their departure to their countries.

Saudi Arabian role

In a joint statement by the Saudi Foreign Ministries and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, he stressed that “the success of the mediation efforts is a reflection of the joint and close friendship between their two countries with the United States of America and Russia, and the important role played by the leadership of the two brotherly countries in promoting dialogue between all parties”.

On the way to America

For his part, US President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that basketball player Brittney Grainer is “bound” to the United States after Moscow confirmed her release in a prisoner exchange involving Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.

An American athlete was arrested at a Moscow airport in February and sentenced to nine years in prison in August for possession of an electronic smoking machine containing a small amount of marijuana oil.

“she’s safe”

“A few minutes ago I was talking to Britney Grainer. She is safe and on a plane bound for the United States,” Biden tweeted. “She’s in a good mood,” he added, but she needs time and privacy to get over the “shock.”

Russia has confirmed that it has traded the bot for the 32-year-old basketball player.

“On December 8, 2022, at Abu Dhabi Airport, the procedures for exchanging Russian citizen Viktor Bout for US citizen Britney Grainer, who are serving two sentences in US and Russian prisons, respectively,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. It is reported by Telegram.

“Agreed for a long time”

Moscow indicated that it was in “long-term” negotiations with Washington on the release of Viktor Bout, who is serving a 25-year prison term.

Bout, 55, was arrested in Thailand in 2008, and the man dubbed the “dealer of death” was extradited to the US. His career was one of the inspirations for the film Lord of War, in which actor Nicolas Cage plays an arms dealer.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, “Washington categorically refused to engage in dialogue about including (Viktor Bout) in the exchange mechanism” and continued: “Nevertheless, Russia continued to work actively to save our compatriot.”

“Thanks to the efforts made, it was possible to agree with the American side on organizing the exchange,” she added.

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Irene Diaz is a celebrity news reporter who started her career as a TV News Reporter. She then progressed into fashion & beauty reporting and eventually jumped from TV to the web, where she worked as a Senior Editor at 24PalNews. Irene believes that if she can, so can you. She’s a firm believer that anything is possible. Her motto is, “It’s all about believing.”

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