Following months of negotiations and back-and-forth, the US and Russia may have reached an agreement on a prisoner swap that may allow Brittney Griner to return to the US in time for the holiday season.

On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters, “There is always a chance,” in response to a question about whether or not a swap may take place before the end of the year.

“Unfortunately, there have been a few moments when it appeared that a decision in its favor was about to be taken, but it never happened,” Ryabkov said.

Griner and former Marine Paul Whelan have been imprisoned in Russia for several months, and President Biden has worked relentlessly to secure their release.

Despite the fact that the Russian Foreign Ministry is not currently in talks with the US on a prisoner swap, Ryabkov stated that it “would without a doubt send a positive signal that not everything is so dark in Russian-American ties.”

“Such a signal would be appropriate, assuming we could figure it out,” he continued.

Griner began serving her nine-year sentence for drug possession at a hard labor camp in Mordovia after her appeal of her lengthy term was refused by a Russian court earlier this month.

The hefty sentence has been slammed by US officials as harsh and politically motivated. Griner’s participation in the 2012 Olympic Games brought her case to the attention of the international community.

The 32-year-old professional basketball player was detained at a Moscow airport in February after it was discovered that her luggage contained vape cartridges containing cannabis oil, which is prohibited in Russia.

During her trial, Griner claimed that she brought the cartridges by accident for a trip to Russia, where she was contracted to play basketball during the WNBA’s off-season.

During the WNBA’s off-season, Griner had a contract to play basketball in Russia. In August, she was convicted guilty of cannabis possession and smuggling and sentenced to nine years in prison for her offenses.

Vice President Joe Biden voiced optimism earlier this month that Russian President Vladimir Putin might be prepared to discuss Griner’s release following the November elections.