US envoy visits WSJ journalist jailed in Russia, says he is in good health

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The US ambassador to Russia on Monday visited jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for the third time and reported that he was in good health.

Ambassador Lynne Tracy saw Gershkovich at the Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, a little over a month after her last visit.

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“Ambassador Tracy said that Evan continues to appear in good health and remains strong, despite his circumstances,” a State Department spokesperson said.

“Once again, the United States calls on the Russian Federation to immediately release Evan Gershkovich and also to release wrongfully detained US citizen Paul Whelan.”

Gershkovich, who previously worked for AFP, was arrested on March 29 during a reporting trip to the Urals.

He is the first Western journalist arrested and accused of espionage by Moscow since the Soviet era, amid a sharp deterioration of relations over the Ukraine war.

The latest visit appears to mark a return to more regular consular access after a gap between the ambassador’s meetings with him in April and July.

Russia at the time had indicated it was retaliating for the United States not issuing visas for Russian state-affiliated media who sought to visit New York during a trip to the United Nations by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Whelan, the other American considered by Washington to be wrongfully detained by Russia, is a former Marine has been in jail for more than four years.

The United States has sharply curtailed high-level contact with Russia since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 but has made contact to arrange two prisoner swaps.

In December, Russia freed basketball star Brittney Griner, who was arrested over traces of cannabis, in return for the release of Viktor Bout, imprisoned in the United States over weapons smuggling.

Read more:

Still no ‘pathway’ to get jailed journalist home from Russia: White House

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