(Central News Agency) US President Biden addressed the nation today after a prisoner exchange with Russia, announcing the release of women's basketball star Greener and thanking the United Arab Emirates for facilitating the exchange, but ex-Marine Whelan is not in the US Russian prisoner exchange deal.

U.S. women's basketball star Brittney Griner was on her way home today after being released from a Russian prison, AFP reported.

Moscow confirmed it had exchanged Greener for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who was serving a 25-year sentence in the United States.

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"She's fine, she's on the plane, she's on her way home," Biden said, adding that he had spoken to Greener and that she was "in a good mood" after a "horrific ordeal."

Another American detained in Russia, Paul Whelan, was not included in the deal, and Biden promised to keep trying to get him released.

Whelan, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested in Russia in 2018 and charged with espionage.

Greener, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, was arrested at Moscow airport on February 17 for carrying an electronic cigarette cartridge containing marijuana oil.

On August 4, she was sentenced to nine years in prison by a Russian court for drug possession and smuggling.

Biden said Greener needed time to recover from "unnecessary trauma" after being "unjustly detained" in a Russian penal colony.

Greener's wife Cherelle Griner, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken were all on the sidelines as Biden made the announcement at the White House.

Cheryl said she was emotional and described her wife's ordeal in captivity as "one of the darkest moments of my life."

Biden also publicly thanked the United Arab Emirates for its assistance in "facilitating" Greener's release, which the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia issued a joint statement saying was the result of "efforts to mediate" between the leaders of the two Arab countries.

The statement said Greener and Bout flew to Abu Dhabi on a private jet for a prisoner exchange in the presence of UAE and Saudi personnel.

Biden said Greener was expected to be back in the United States within 24 hours.

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