WNBA star Brittney Griner begins trial in Russia

STORY: The trial began in Russia Friday for a U.S. basketball star accused of bringing hashish oil into the country.

Brittney Griner heard the drug charges against her that could lead to 10 years in a Russian jail. She was charged with intentionally importing narcotics into Russia.

The case is unfolding against a backdrop of high tension between Moscow and Washington over the conflict in Ukraine. U.S. officials say Griner has been wrongfully detained.

Elizabeth Rood, a U.S. diplomat based in Russia, said she was able to speak with Griner in the courtroom.

"She is doing as well as can be expected in these difficult circumstances, and she asked me to convey that she's in good spirits and is keeping up the faith. The Russian Federation has wrongfully detained Miss Griner. Wrongful detention is unacceptable, wherever it occurs, and it endangers the safety of everyone traveling, living, working, studying abroad. I can assure you that the United States government at the very highest levels is working very hard to bring Miss Griner - as well as all wrongfully detained U.S. citizens - safely home."

Griner, who has played regularly in Russia and in the WNBA, was arrested at a Moscow airport in February, allegedly with vape cartridges containing hashish oil in her luggage.

Griner told Reuters she was finding detention hard because she doesn't speak Russian, and that she was unable to keep up her fitness.

Her lawyers declined to say how she planned to plead.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week there was "no higher priority" than bringing home Griner and other Americans "illegally detained" abroad.

The next hearing is set for July 7th.