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You Vote: Should the U.S. negotiate with hostile nations that detain Americans?

Russia has detained WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner.

Published: July 8, 2022 8:34am

Updated: July 11, 2022 1:20pm

President Biden spoke this week with the wife of WNBA All-Star Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia, and reassured her that he is working to gain Griner's freedom.  

Griner, who plays basketball in Russia in the off-season, was arrested in February at a Moscow-area airport for allegedly having hash oil, perhaps in a vape, in her luggage. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Experts say the arrest is likely a ploy meant to compel the U.S. to negotiate for her release. Reports have indicated the Biden administration is considering a prisoner swap with Russia.

Some argue the U.S. has a moral obligation to secure the release of Americans detained by foreign governments. Others say engaging adversaries in such negotiations will incentivize them to detain other Americans in the future as hostages, knowing they can get concessions from Washington.

Which side is right? Here's your chance to weigh in:

As a general rule, when a hostile country detains an American, should the U.S. government make concessions to secure their release, or should Washington refuse to negotiate?

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