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Viktor Bout reveals what he said to Brittney Griner as the two met on the tarmac during their exchange

Viktor Bout, the Russian arms dealer freed from US custody in exchange for Brittney Griner, has revealed what he said to the basketball star when the two briefly passed each other on a tarmac in Abu Dhabi.

“I wished her luck, she even kind of extended her hand to me,” Mr Bout said. said Saturday in an interview with the public television channel RT.

“You should wish everyone good luck and happiness,” he added, and said he felt Ms Griner was “positively leaning” towards him and seemed to be reaching out to him.

Elsewhere in the interview, the arms dealer is gone on a homophobic rantpraised Russian President Vladimir Putin and said he would personally fight in the war in Ukraine if given the chance.

“If I had the opportunity and the skills, I would volunteer,” he said. according to Reuters.

On Thursday, US and Russian officials completed the prisoner swap, with the WNBA star released from a Russian penal colony and Mr. Bout freed from US custody after 14 years in prison for arms trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy to kill Americans. .

On Friday, Ms Griner arrived at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

“We never stopped pushing for his release. It took painstaking and intensive negotiations and I want to thank all of the hard-working public servants in my administration who worked tirelessly to secure his release,” President Biden said. announcing the White House swap.

Ms Griner’s incarceration in Russia began in February. The WNBA player is competing in Russia during the US offseason and was found at a Moscow airport with vape cartridges allegedly containing cannabis oil.

Reviews slammed the president for failing to secure the release of Paul Whelan, a former US Marine imprisoned in Russia for the past four years.

The White House said it would “never give upattempting to facilitate Mr. Whelan’s release.

Mr. Bout, a suspected Russian intelligence agent or asset, was known as “Merchant of Deathfor his prolific arms trade after the fall of the Soviet Union.

He reportedly supplied both sides of the civil wars in Afghanistan and Liberia, and was arrested in Thailand in 2008 in a US sting operation attempting to sell arms to Colombian militants.

The Independent Gt

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