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Russia says ready to discuss prisoner swap with US after Griner receives nine years in prison

Chantal Da Silva is a breaking news editor at NBC News Digital based in London. 

Contributed by Yuliya Talmazan and Julia Jester.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that the United States had made a "serious proposal" for a prisoner exchange and urged Russia to "accept it."

 "They should have accepted it weeks ago when we first made it," he said. Asked if Washington was considered a counter-proposal from Russia, he said, "I don't think we've gone as far as to call it a counter-proposal."

Griner, 31, was convicted Thursday of drug possession and smuggling and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison. A fine must be paid, but the verdict can be appealed.. 

The basketball star said Russian authorities had found e-cigarettes containing cannabis oil in her luggage. detained at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport in February after announcing the discovery of the container .

Greiner, a center for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury, who has played in Russia for the past seven years over the winter, admitted that the canister belonged to him. Hurry up.

In Thursday's final plea for leniency,  two-time Olympic gold medalist } apologized and reiterated that he had no intention of breaking Russian law. And I made an "honest mistake".

Griner's legal team said the basketball star was "extremely disappointed" by Thursday's outcome.

"The court ignored all evidence in the defense and Most importantly, it completely ignored the guilty plea." Her attorney said in a separate statement sent on the Telegram messaging app that she would appeal. 

Griner's WNBA team. 52}Phoenix Mercurysaid it hoped the Biden administration could secure her freedom. I knew it wasn't procedural, but today's verdict is a sobering milestone in a 168-day nightmare. "We are heartbroken about this. We are grateful and confident in the civil servants who are working every day to bring her back to her family and us."

The Kremlin has been accused of using Griner as a political pawn, and the Biden administration is under increasing pressure from her family and teammates to release her.