US Secretary Of State Speaks Out After Brittney Griner Detained In Russia


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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said American officials are doing all they can to "provide every possible assistance" to citizens detained in Russia –– including WNBA star Brittney Griner.

"There's only so much I can say given the privacy considerations at this point," Blinken said during a joint news conference with the Moldova president Maia Sandu. "Whenever an American is detained anywhere in the world, we of course stand ready to provide every possible assistance, and that includes Russia."

News recently broke that Griner has been detained since February after custom officials say they found hashish oil in luggage they believed belong to her in Moscow. Griner, like many other WNBA players, has been playing overseas during the winter months, and was most recently playing in Russia. She's been the Phoenix Mercury for nine seasons is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.

Blinken says there is "an embassy team that's working on the cases of other Americans who were detained in Russia." "We're doing everything we can to see to it that their rights are upheld and respected."

The 31-year-old's wife, Cherelle Griner, posted on Instagram, thanking people for reaching out, and asking for privacy "as we continue to work on getting my wife home safely."

Russia has been on the US State Department's "do not travel" list since January 23, with another warning being sent nine days ago at the start of the country's deadly invasion of Ukraine.

The Department's warnings cite the "potential of harassment against US citizens, the embassy's limited ability to assist US citizens in Russia, COVID-19 restrictions and related entry restrictions, terrorism, harassment by Russian government security officials, and the arbitrary enforcement of local law."

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