Biden hopeful for Brittney Griner's freedom

STORY: U.S. President Joe Biden said Wednesday he expects Russian leader Vladimir Putin to get more serious about discussing the release of U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner and a potential prisoner swap.

“My hope is that now that the election is over, that Mr. Putin will be able to discuss with us and be willing to talk more seriously about prisoner exchange. That is my intention. My intention is to get her home and we've had a number of discussions so far.”

Griner faces nine years in a penal colony, according to her legal team.

She was transferred last week from a detention center outside Moscow.

Reuters has requested comment from Russia's federal prison service on where Griner is being taken and where she is now.

Russia hasn’t responded yet to a prisoner-swap proposal Biden had floated in late July, to secure Griner’s release as well as the release of jailed U.S. Marine Paul Whelan.

The souring of ties between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine has complicated the talks.

In a statement, Griner’s agent said the athlete’s health and well-being continues to be their primary concern.

Russia hasn’t disclosed Griner’s current location, or her final destination.

Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested in February in Moscow for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is banned in Russia.

She was sentenced on charges of possessing and smuggling drugs.