Biden Surrenders to Putin?

Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin

( – Russian President Vladimir Putin has scored a significant victory over President Joe Biden as Biden has agreed to surrender a notorious Russian arms dealer jailed in the U.S. in exchange for WNBA player Britney Griner and a former-U.S. Marine, Paul Whelan, who are in Russian custody.

Against the backdrop of informal talks and hostile relations between America and Russia over Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the exchange offer is coming from the U.S. side.

The offer to Putin is being made with the personal approval of President Joe Biden, with his Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security spokesman John Kirby hinting at the deal without confirming, for the time being, The Daily Mail reported.

The Russian international arms dealer and trafficker Viktor Bout, known as the “Merchant of Death,” is serving a 25-year sentence for arms trafficking in an Illinois prison. He has been in U.S. custody since 2011.

55-year-old Bout is a former officer in the then-Soviet military who went rogue after the dissolution of the communist empire in 1991. He was so legendary as a criminal that he inspired a Nicolas Cage character in the 2005 Hollywood film “Lord of War.”

Among other weapons, he has managed to sell entire stockpiles of Soviet weapons, including 700 surface-to-air missiles, military helicopters, warplanes with grenade launchers, and thousands of small arms.

His client list included the Taliban in Afghanistan, late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, Colombian Marxist rebel group FARC, and dictators and violent rebels in Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, and DR Congo.

WBNA star Britney Griner – known for her protests against the American flag since 2020 – has been in a Russian jail since she was arrested at a Moscow airport on drug trafficking charges to which she has pleaded guilty.

Many have suspected that Putin’s authorities took her in custody precisely to extort concessions from America, such as the release of Viktor Bout.

Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan has been in Russian custody since 2018 on spying charges and is serving a 16-year sentence there.

In April, the Biden administration swapped another former U.S. Marine in Russian custody, Trevor Reed, for a Russian drug-smuggling pilot serving a sentence in the U.S.

“In the coming days, I expect to speak with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov for the first time since the war began. I plan to raise an issue that’s a top priority for us; the release of Americans Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner, who’ve been wrongfully detained,” Secretary of State Blinken said in a statement.