Bout says Griner 'needed to shake my hand' on airport tarmac

Viktor Bout, the convicted Russian arms seller who was part of the U.S.-Russia prisoner for WNBA star Brittney Griner, stated the star athlete “needed to shake” his hand as they had been passing one another on the Abu Dhabi airport tarmac. 

In an interview with Russian state media outlet RT revealed Saturday, Bout stated he wished Griner good luck and she or he prolonged her hand to him. 

“She needed to shake my hand,” Bout informed RT within the interview. “You might really feel that she was actually constructive.”

“Once more, it’s our custom. It is best to want everybody luck and happiness,” Bout added, in response to Reuters. 

An video circulated by Russian media final week confirmed each Griner and Bout strolling previous one another, with one of many three males accompanying Griner going over to shake fingers and hug Bout as each events went their separate methods. 

Bout, who spent the final 14 years in jail, additionally spoke about American politics and the battle in Ukraine within the wide-ranging interview with RT.

He in contrast President Biden and former President Trump to “Coke Zero and Eating regimen Pepsi” when requested which politician he would like to be within the White Home, including that he didn’t consider partisan divisions would result in a revolution in America.

Bout additionally informed RT that he would be a part of Russian’s battle towards neighboring Ukraine, saying “If I had the possibility and the required abilities, I’d be a part of up as a volunteer.”

The Griner-Bout prisoner swap got here after months of lobbying by Griner’s household, mates, the WNBA and athletes throughout the U.S. sports activities spectrum.

It has led members of the Republican get together to criticize the administration for releasing a infamous legal and failing to barter the discharge of former U.S. Marine Paul Whalen, who has been jailed in Russia for years.

Griner, who performs professionally for the WNBA’s Pheonix Mercury, was serving an eight-year sentence at a Russian penal colony after being discovered responsible of possessing Hashish oil at a Moscow airport in February. 

Roger Carstens, particular presidential envoy for hostage affairs, informed CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Griner was very talkative on the flight dwelling, making a private connections with every crew member on the flight.

“We talked about all the things beneath the solar,” Carstens stated. “I used to be left with the impression that that is an clever, passionate, compassionate, humble, fascinating particular person, a patriotic particular person, however, above all, genuine.”