Biden accused of ‘American surrender’ after Russian gunrunner freed in prisoner swap
Brittney Griner has been behind bars in Russia since the start of the war and is believed to have been incarcerated in a Siberian prison.
14:59, Thu, Dec 8, 2022 | UPDATED: December 8th 2022
John Bolton says Putin has his own logic and it is different to ours
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Joe Biden’s United States has been accused of “surrender” after agreeing a prisoner swap which will see US basketball star Brittney Griner return to the States, with notorious gunrunner Viktor Bout – the man dubbed “the Merchant of Death” – heading in the opposite direction. Mr Biden today said Ms Griner was safe and on a plane home from the United Arab Emirates.
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However, former National Security adviser John Bolton was deeply unimpressed by the move, warning it could make things worse.
He tweeted: “The Bout-for-Griner prisoner swap is not a trade, it’s an American surrender.
“This is not what American strength looks like. Terrorists and rogue states are smiling.”
State-controlled Russian news agency Tass quoted a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying: “As a result of the efforts made, we managed to agree with the American side to arrange an exchange of Viktor Bout for Brittney Griner.
Viktor Bout has been freed by the United States (Image: GETTY)
John Bolton’s tweet (Image: Twitter)
“The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland.”
The statement added that the exchange “was successfully completed at the airport of Abu Dhabi on Thursday”.
It continued: “Washington was categorically refusing to engage in dialogue on putting the Russian national on the exchange scheme.
“Nevertheless, the Russian Federation continued to actively work towards the release of our fellow countryman.”
Viktor Bout has been in prison in America for 12 years (Image: NC)