Biden meets Griner, Whelan families at White House | Politics News

Households are pushing US to safe launch of WNBA star Brittney Griner and former US Marine Paul Whelan, held in Russia.

US President Joe Biden has met with the households of basketball star Brittney Griner and former marine Paul Whelan, amid ongoing efforts in Washington to safe two Americans’ launch from detention in Russia.

Biden sat down within the Oval Workplace on Friday with Cherelle Griner, the spouse of Griner, and Elizabeth Whelan, the ex-marine’s sister.

The conferences started shortly earlier than 5pm (21:00 GMT), the White Home stated.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White Home press secretary, stated earlier this week that Biden hoped the face-to-face talks will present the households “that they continue to be entrance of thoughts” for the US administration.

“Whereas I’d like to say that the aim of this assembly is to tell the households that the Russians have accepted our supply and we’re bringing their loved-ones residence, that isn’t what we’re seeing in these negotiations right now,” Jean-Pierre advised reporters.

Griner, a Girls’s Nationwide Basketball Affiliation (WNBA) and two-time Olympic gold medallist, was sentenced to 9 years in jail final month over drug fees.

She was arrested in February, days earlier than Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and her case has moved by means of the Russian courtroom system amid frayed relations between Moscow and Washington over the conflict.

Whelan, a Marine veteran, was sentenced to 16 years in jail in 2020 on espionage fees.

The US State Division has referred to as the detention of each US residents unjustified.

Earlier on Friday, a White Home Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson stated negotiations with Moscow to safe the 2 People’ launch are ongoing.

“The president felt it was vital to proceed the dialogue with the relations … We’ve got stayed in contact with them all through; we’ve got saved them knowledgeable all through,” John Kirby advised reporters.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated in July that Washington made a “substantial proposal” to Moscow to free Griner and Whelan.

A number of US media retailers reported round that point that the Biden administration provided a prisoner trade involving a Russian arms seller detained within the US.

On Friday, Kirby advised reporters that Russia has not responded to that supply, “however that doesn’t imply that we’re not nonetheless in negotiations or we’re not nonetheless making an attempt”.

Moscow stated final month that it was “prepared” to debate a prisoner swap cope with Washington.

In the meantime, Griner’s kin, teammates and supporters have been calling on the US authorities to place its full weight behind the case to push for her launch.

Griner was accused of bringing vape canisters containing hashish oil into Russia, the place she was set to play for a basketball crew in Yekaterinburg.

Regardless of the deteriorating ties between Washington and Moscow, Russia in April freed Trevor Reed, a former US marine. In trade, the US launched Russian pilot Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was serving a 20-year sentence within the US over drug fees.

US speaker Nancy Pelosi visits Ukraine, meets President Zelenskyy | Russia-Ukraine war News

Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking American chief to go to Ukraine because the begin of the warfare.

US Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a Congressional delegation to Kyiv to fulfill Ukraine’s president within the newest present of assist for the combat towards Russia by a senior Western politician.

Pelosi, second in line to the presidency after the vice chairman, is the highest-ranking American chief to go to Ukraine because the begin of the warfare, and her go to marks a significant present of assist for the nation’s battle towards Moscow’s invasion.

“We consider that we’re visiting you to say thanks on your combat for freedom… Our dedication is to be there for you till the combat is finished,” Pelosi instructed President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in keeping with a video from the Ukrainian presidency.

“Our delegation travelled to Kyiv to ship an unmistakable and resounding message to your entire world: America stands firmly with Ukraine. We’re right here till victory is received.”

She additionally condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “diabolic invasion”.

Moscow calls its actions a “particular navy operation” to disarm Ukraine and rid it of anti-Russian nationalism fomented by the West. Ukraine and the West say Russia has launched an unprovoked warfare of aggression.

Zelenskyy took to Twitter to thank the US “for serving to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state”.

“The US is main sturdy assist for Ukraine in its combat towards Russian aggression,” he mentioned. “We’ll win and we’ll win collectively.”

‘Freedom towards tyranny’

The Congressional delegation included Adam Schiff, Jim McGovern, and Barbara Lee, amongst others. The go to was not beforehand introduced.

The delegation continued its journey to southeast Poland and the capital, Warsaw, to fulfill President Andrzej Duda and different Polish officers.

Poland has obtained greater than three million refugees from Ukraine since Russia launched its warfare on February 24.

In a information convention in Poland, Pelosi mentioned she and others within the delegation applauded the braveness of the Ukrainian folks.

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Schiff mentioned the US legislators had a three-hour assembly with Zelenskyy and his administration, speaking about sanctions, weapons and assist help. Schiff promised intelligence-sharing would proceed between Ukraine and the US.

“It is a battle of freedom towards tyranny,” Schiff mentioned. “And in that battle, Ukraine is on the entrance traces.”

McGovern mentioned Russia’s warfare had repercussions far past Ukraine, saying it was exacerbating a meals disaster that might be disastrous for poor folks throughout the globe.

“Putin’s brutal warfare is not solely a warfare towards the folks of Ukraine. It’s additionally a warfare towards the world’s most weak. I don’t suppose that Putin cares if he starves the world,” McGovern mentioned.

Broad-ranging sanctions

US President Joe Biden final week proposed a $33bn package deal for arming and supporting Ukraine. He additionally outlined proposed new legal guidelines to permit utilizing luxurious belongings stripped from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for the destruction wreaked by the invading Russians.

Russia’s International Minister Sergey Lavrov urged the US and NATO to cease supplying Kyiv with arms if they’re “actually fascinated about resolving the Ukraine disaster”.

Russia has additionally slammed the West for imposing wide-ranging sanctions largely slicing off Russia’s monetary sector from the worldwide economic system. Lots of of multinational firms have additionally exited Russia within the wake of the warfare in a blow to its economic system.

European nations have pledged to chop reliance on Russian gasoline to deprive Moscow of income.