After months of negotiations, Moscow released US basketball player Griner, who was jailed for possession of cannabis oil, in exchange for notorious arms dealer Bout. But according to US data, the Russians originally wanted much more.
In the course of the negotiations for the release of the US basketball player Brittney Griner, Russia tried, according to US information, to get the Russian Vadim K., who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Germany for the Tiergarten murder, free. "They seemed to want a man named Krasikow who is being held in Germany," US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told ABC.
"He's a killer," Kirby said. The Russian request had not been seriously considered. After all, he wasn't imprisoned in the United States, so Washington couldn't get involved either. K. was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2021 for the so-called Tiergarten murder. The Berlin Court of Appeal saw it as proven that in August 2019 he had shot and killed a Georgian of Chechen origin and an opposition member in the Kleiner Tiergarten on behalf of Russian state authorities.
Last Thursday, Griner was finally exchanged for the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was serving a decade-long prison sentence in the United States. The athlete was arrested on arrival at a Moscow airport in February. Cartridges for e-cigarettes with small amounts of cannabis oil were found in her luggage, which she was construed as a criminal offence.
The US continues to seek the release of former US soldier Paul Whelan. He was arrested in Russia four years ago and convicted of espionage two years later.
Bout had already served 14 years in US prison. The Russian, known as the "Dealer of Death," was sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison in the United States for conspiracy to murder and arms trafficking. Bout is said to have connections to the Russian secret service.