President Joseph announced this morning that W.N.B.A. star Brittney Griner, “B.G.,” has been freed from a Russian prison. In a press release, the Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that a one-to-one swap for Griner was made at the Abu Dhabi airport for convicted Russian arms trader Viktor Bout. According to U.S. officials, Biden approved the release of Bout, commuting his 25-year prison sentence.

The Russian government refused to include ex-U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, imprisoned in Russia on false espionage charges. Speaking about Whelan, President Biden acknowledged that while the U.S. did not secure his release, “We are not giving up. We will never give up.” It became clear in recent weeks that “the choice was bringing Brittney Griner home or bringing no one home right now, said a senior administration official.

”Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Cherelle Griner, the wife of Brittney, stood together in the Roosevelt Room of the White House as the announcement was made. “She’s safe. She’s on a plane. She’s on her way home after months of being unjustly detained in Russia, held under intolerable circumstances.”