Roy Jones Jr is hoping his friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin will assist safe the discharge of detained basketball star Brittney Griner.
Jones Jr, who was personally awarded Russian citizenship by Putin in 2015, just lately revealed his plans to become involved in Griner’s case if the USA and Russia fail to succeed in a diplomatic answer.
“Proper now, I’m listening to they’re making an attempt to do a prisoner swap,” Jones advised LVSportsBiz.com. “In the event that they do the prisoner swap, that might be good. If the prisoner swap doesn’t work then it’s important to perceive that I’m a diplomatic kind of individual. I don’t get into politics, however my pals are my pals.”
In February 2022, Griner was detained by Russian customs after being found with vaporizer cartridges containing lower than a gram of cannabis oil had been present in her baggage. She was arrested on drug prices and pled responsible throughout her trial. In August, the court docket sentenced Griner to 9 years in jail, together with a tremendous of 1 million rubles (roughly $16,300).
Final month, Russia’s overseas ministry revealed it was participating in “quiet diplomacy” with the U.S. relating to a possible prisoner swap that would come with Griner. Nonetheless, Russia has additionally acknowledged its intention to safe the “Service provider of Demise” Viktor Bout as a part of the deal. The convicted arms vendor is serving a 25-year sentence for conspiring to kill People in 2011. Consequently, it stays unclear whether or not the U.S. might be prepared to return Bout to Russian soil.
If all else fails, Jones intends to talk with Putin himself with a view to safe Griner’s launch.
“If this doesn’t work I’ll go to Mr. Putin myself,” Jones stated.
Since turning into a Russian citizen in 2015, Jones has been very happy to develop into a propaganda mouthpiece for the Kremlin. He has repeatedly defended Putin, claiming that the Russian chief is “misunderstood” and a “man’s man.” He has additionally taken half in Russia’s navy propaganda parades wearing navy headgear and has additionally met with the likes of Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.
But regardless of Jones’ transformation from American boxing legend to Kremlin stooge, he believes he is a perfect candidate to talk up for Griner’s launch.
“I really feel like due to my relationship figuring out Putin like that, I owe it to her and her household, to my nation right here to go ask him if she’ll get out with a prisoner swap,” Jones stated.