Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: U.S. State Department suggests Russia may be violating Vienna Convention

The U.S. State Department raised the notion Tuesday that “sporadic contact” with WNBA star Brittney Griner, who is being held in Russia, is insufficient and may fail to meet the minimum requirements under the Vienna Convention. Griner has been held in Russia since February for allegedly possessing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis when she was coming back to Moscow. Her arrest wasn’t reported until March and her pre-trial detention was extended for another month last week. The State Department is still pushing to have regular contact with Griner. A consular official was able to meet with the Phoenix Mercury star last week. “That consular official came away with the impression that Brittney Griner is doing as well as might be expected under conditions that can only be described as exceedingly difficult,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said. “But sporadic contact is not satisfactory. It also may not be consistent with the Vienna Convention to which Russia has subscribed.” (https://www.foxnews.com/sports/brittney-griner-arrest-state-department-russia-vienna-convention) Article 36 of the Vienna Convention requires a country that arrested a foreign national to give the detainee access to their consulate and to give the foreign national the right of consular access. The Biden administration has classified Griner’s status as “wrongfully detained.”

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