Within days, two planes were scheduled to take off – one from Moscow, where Griner had been transferred, and another from the US, with Mr. bolt.
One question that needs to be addressed is: where does the exchange take place? During the Cold War, and even in the 2010 Russian-American spy exchange under US President Barack Obama, prisoners were exchanged in central Europe: the Glienicke Bridge in Potsdam, Germany, made famous by the Tom Hanks film “Bridge of Spies”, Or in Vienna, as in the 2010 deal.
But Moscow is reluctant to send the plane anywhere in Europe for fear it could be seized as the United States and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia following the February invasion of Ukraine. Even long-neutral Switzerland has joined the ranks of sanctions against Russia, while Helsinki, Finland — the main meeting place between Russia and the United States during the Cold War — is no longer acceptable because the country is joining NATO.
The compromise became the United Arab Emirates, a small Gulf state friendly to both Washington and Moscow. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, raised her. Mr Greener’s case was with Putin at a meeting in October, so the UAE was happy to facilitate the transfer. The two sides made an arrangement: the two sides will send planes to the capital Abu Dhabi.
Cherelle Griner, Ms. Griner’s wife, was invited to the White House on Thursday morning, ostensibly to meet with Trump. Sullivan update. However, when she arrived, Mr. Sullivan surprised her by taking her to the Oval Office. Biden broke the news that Greener went home. Just then, Ms. Griner was on the ground in Abu Dhabi while Mr. Bout’s plane was 30 minutes away.
As soon as he landed, his clemency papers were finalized and the exchange continued, captured on blurry video released by Russian state media. It shows Ms. Escorted by officials from their country, Greiner and Mr. Bout walked to the middle of the dusty tarmac. After a brief stop, Ms. Griner was taken in one direction while Mr. Bout and Russian officials left in another vehicle.
gentlemen. Biden and Cheryl Greener celebrate in front of cameras in the Oval Office. But once the reporters were taken out, the president faced another, more daunting task: He had to call Mr. Trump. Whelan’s sister explains why he’s not coming home, at least not yet.
Neil McFarquhar Report from Paris. Anton Troyanovsky Report from Moscow.