The US and Russia have exchanged jailed US basketball star Brittney Griner for notorious arms dealer Viktor Bout, held in an American prison for 12 years.
President Joe Biden said Griner was safe and on a plane home from the United Arab Emirates. "I'm glad to say Brittney's in good spirits... she needs time and space to recover," he said at the White House.
Bout - widely known as the "merchant of death" - has arrived back in Moscow, Russian media reports.
Griner was arrested at a Moscow airport in February for possessing cannabis oil, and last month she was sent to a penal colony. The Biden administration proposed a prisoner exchange in July, aware Moscow had long sought Bout's release.
Speaking in the Oval Office, Brittney Griner's wife, Cherelle praised the efforts of the Biden administration in securing her release: "I'm just standing here overwhelmed with emotions."
Moments ago I spoke to Brittney Griner.— President Biden (@POTUS) December 8, 2022
She is safe.
She is on a plane.
She is on her way home. pic.twitter.com/FmHgfzrcDT
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