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Why the 'harsh reality' is that a deal to bring home Brittney Griner may take awhile

For Brittney Griner, there is one silver lining to Thursday’s harsh nine-year prison sentence handed down by a Russian judge.

Meaningful negotiations for a deal to bring the WNBA star home can finally begin.

In an attempt to foster the perception that Griner was receiving a fair trial and that their efforts to hold her were legitimate, Russian officials had insisted for weeks that they wouldn’t entertain a prisoner exchange until she was tried and sentenced. With Griner’s drug trial over, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters on Friday that the Kremlin is “ready to discuss this issue” but warned that Russia won’t tolerate public negotiations.