US basketball player Brittney Griner, sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia, has been released in a prisoner swap.

It was exchanged for the Russian arms dealer Viktor But, who was arrested in the United States, at Abu Dhabi airport, the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow announced on Thursday.

The athlete was arrested at a Moscow airport in February with a small amount of hashish and sentenced to nine years in prison by a Moscow court in early August.

A higher court dismissed Griner's appeal in October.

The White House said it had made several diplomatic attempts to get the basketball player released.

"She's safe.

She's on an airplane.

She's on her way home," US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter.

He just spoke to her.

The White House said Biden would address the public shortly.