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NBA legend Dennis Rodman made waves over the weekend when he revealed his plans to go to Russia to advocate for the discharge of WNBA celebrity Brittney Griner who was sentenced to 9 years in jail after she was convicted of drug expenses.
On Monday, State Department Spokesman Ned Price was requested about Rodman’s travel plans.
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“Well, we have now seen by the media, and actually solely by the media, that Dennis Rodman has stated he does intend to travel to Russia. He — I wish to be clear, he’s — he wouldn’t be touring on behalf of the US authorities,” Price stated.
“I’ve simply reiterated what we have stated now for the previous a number of weeks. We put ahead a considerable proposal to Russia to hunt the liberty of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner. We consider that something apart from negotiating additional by the established channel is more likely to complicate and hinder these launch efforts. We’ve additionally supplied very clear steering to American residents owing to quite a few threats, not the least of which is the specter of wrongful detention, that Americans mustn’t travel to Russia. message to personal Americans throughout the board.”
The State Department has a Level 4 travel advisory to warn Americans about touring to Russia.
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“Do not travel to Russia as a result of unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian army forces, the potential for harassment in opposition to US residents by Russian authorities safety officers, the singling out of US residents in Russia by Russian authorities safety officers together with for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of native legislation, restricted flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s restricted potential to help US residents in Russia, COVID-19-related restrictions, and terrorism,” the warning reads. “US residents residing or touring in Russia ought to depart Russia instantly. Exercise elevated warning as a consequence of wrongful detentions.”
Price stated final week the company nonetheless categorised Griner as being “wrongfully detained.” He was requested about Griner and the potential of a prisoner swap with Russia, which can contain convicted arms seller Viktor Bout and one other American held in Russia, Paul Whelan.
“No aspect of this trial adjustments our judgment that Brittney Griner is being wrongfully detained and must be launched instantly,” Price stated. “That is why we have put ahead quite a few weeks in the past what we take into account to be a severe, substantial proposal and an effort to hunt her launch, to hunt the discharge of Paul Whelan as effectively.
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“We are in communication with the Russians on this matter, and we encourage them to pursue this constructively.”
Griner’s legal professionals in Russia appealed her conviction. She was arrested for bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from hashish by a Moscow airport in February. She was convicted and acquired her sentence on Aug. 4.
Rodman has a historical past of interacting with world leaders.
Rodman met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un in 2013 and was among the many first Americans to satisfy him. The former Chicago Bulls star addressed a letter to Kim in January 2014, and about 10 months later captured American Kenneth Bae was launched, in response to TMZ Sports. Rodman had appeared within the nation just a few occasions since Bae’s launch.
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In 2014, Rodman described Putin as “cool” in an interview on FOX Business. He stated he wasn’t speaking about Putin’s politics. He stated Putin shook his hand and left throughout his interplay with him in a visit to Russia.