US slams Russia after Wall Street Journal reporter detained
The US also called on all Americans residing or traveling in Russia to depart immediately after Russian forces detained US citizen Evan Gershkovich.
The White House slammed Russia for detaining a Wall Street Journal reporter, who they allege is a US spy.
The US also called on all Americans residing or traveling in Russia to depart as soon as possible.
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“I want to strongly reiterate that Americans should heed the US government’s warning to not travel to Russia. US citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately, as the State Department continues to advise,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“We are deeply concerned by the troubling reports that Evan Gershkovich, an American citizen, has been detained in Russia,” Jean-Pierre said.
Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg this week, and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) alleged, without evidence, that he was trying to obtain classified information.
The Russians also claimed that Gershkovich was acting on behalf of America to obtain information about “one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”
The WSJ came out with a statement and said it “vehemently” denied the Russian allegations.
A Russian court ordered WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich detained until May 29 for what it described as espionage. The Journal denies the allegations against him. https://t.co/XAwBjKYp5U— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) March 30, 2023
White House and State Department officials spoke with the Wall Street Journal and his family in the hours after his arrest, according to the White House.
Jean-Pierre said that the State Department had been in direct contact with the Russian government and was working to secure consular access to Gershkovich. “The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms.”
The White House condemned Russia’s continued targeting and repression of journalists.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned “in the strongest possible terms… the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish journalists and civil society voices.”
He echoed the White House and reiterated the danger posed to US citizens inside Russia or traveling there.
Read more: Fugitive Russian father convicted of insulting army detained in Belarus
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