Griner has been sentenced to 9½ years in prison for bringing less than a gram of cannabis oil, which is illegal in Russia, into the country She has been imprisoned since her Feb. 17 arrest.
Jean-Pierre said Thursday that Russia has continued to refuse a “significant offer” from the United States to “resolve the current unacceptable and wrongful detention” of Griner and Paul Whelan, a former U.S. Marine also imprisoned in Russia.
“Despite a lack of good-faith negotiation by the Russians, the U.S. government has continued to follow up on that offer and propose alternative potential ways forward with Russians through all available channels,” Jean-Pierre said. “This continues to be a top priority.”
The U.S. government has long characterized Griner’s arrest as a “wrongful detainment.”
Last week, after the Russian court’s dismissal of her appeal, Griner’s attorneys said they would confer with their client about the possibility of further appeals, and that they intended to make use of “all the available legal tools.” Once the appeals process is over, she is set to be transferred to a penal colony.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Maite Fernández Simon and Mary Ilyushina contributed to this report.