US ambassador to Russia, Lavrov's deputy discuss arrest of WSJ journalist
Evan Gershkovich (Photo:The Moscow Times/Handout via REUTERS)
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy has met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to discuss the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, Radio Liberty reported on April 7.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said during the meeting that Gershkovich “was caught red-handed trying to obtain classified information, using his journalistic status as a cover for illegal actions.”
The U.S. Embassy is yet to comment on the talks with the Russian deputy foreign minister.
Moscow's Lefortovo Court arrested the Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich on March 30. The FSB has accused him of being engaged in "espionage.” The Russian intelligence services claim that Gershkovich was collecting information about one of the Russian military-industrial complex enterprises "on behalf of the United States."
Gershkovich, who is based in the Russian capital Moscow, was detained while on a trip to the city of Yekaterinburg, 1,400 kilometers to the east.
Yaroslav Shirshikov, a Yekaterinburg PR specialist who accompanied the correspondent, said that Gershkovich was preparing a story about the Wagner PMC and Russia's war against Ukraine.
The Wall Street Journal rejected the Russian regime's claims and demanded the journalist's immediate release.
There have been several cases of Russia arresting foreign citizens in order to swap them later for Russian spies that have been detained by Western countries – essentially hostage taking.
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