Moscow has criticised the US handling of the affair involving basketball player Brittney Griner, who has been detained in Russia.

“Public hype not only distracts from the case, but disturbs it,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday about the discussion surrounding the American, according to Russian news agencies.
The day before, the White House had said that US President Joe Biden had contacted Griner’s wife Cherelle. Two-time Olympic champion Griner (31) went on trial for the first time last week in Khimki, accused of carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She has been in custody since mid-February.

Griner faces next hearing

“No correspondence of this kind can help,” Ryabkov said of the announcement. Rather, he said, what matters for the US side is the “serious perception of the signals from Moscow”. Griner is scheduled for another hearing on Thursday.

Biden had assured that he would work for her “release as quickly as possible”. Griner was “unjustly imprisoned under intolerable circumstances”, the statement from Washington said.