President Joe Biden says he’s willing to meet with Vladimir Putin to discuss the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is currently being held in a Russian prison. Biden made the comment during an interview with CNN.
Speaking with Jake Tapper, Biden said that Griner’s release would be the only reason he’d speak to Putin at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia.
“Look, I have no intention of meeting with him, but look, if he came to me at the G20 and said, ‘I want to talk about the release of Griner,’ I would meet with him, but that would depend,” Biden said, according to PEOPLE.
A Russian court sentenced Griner to nine years in prison following a guilty verdict on drug-related charges. The WNBA star had been detained in the country since February for possessing vape cartridges that contained hashish oil.
Other than potential conversations about Griner’s release, Biden sees no point in a conversation with Putin.
“He’s acted brutally, I think he’s committed war crimes, and so I don’t… see any rationale to meet with him now,” Biden said.
Brittney Griner’s Appeal Date Set
Later this month, Brittney Griner will return to court for an appeal hearing. A date has been set for Oct. 25, two months after she was found guilty in a Russian court.
Many celebrities and professional athletes have shown support for the WNBA star during a treacherous eight-month period. Joe Rogan, LeBron James, Megan Rapinoe and many others have claimed that Russia is using Griner as a political prisoner.
Others have stayed quiet on the situation. Griner’s former college coach, Kim Mulkey, refused to answer a question regarding the former Baylor star’s detainment.
“Just wanted to get your thoughts on Brittney Griner’s situation. I don’t think I’ve seen anything from you on that,” one reporter asked the now-LSU coach.
“And you won’t,” Mulkey responded.
Biden has said he’s open to a prisoner exchange involving Griner and U.S. Marine Paul Whelan. No progress has been made on that front, however.