US: Antony Blinken urges Americans living in Russia to leave country ‘immediately’

After the reporter was arrested in Moscow, US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken asked Americans living in Russia to leave “immediately.”

Blinken stated on Twitter, “We are deeply concerned by Russia’s announcement that a US citizen journalist has been detained. The safety and security of US citizens abroad is the highest priority of the @StateDepartment. Please leave Russia immediately if you are a US citizen living or travelling there.”

According to Al-Jazeera, these remarks came after an American reporter for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Evann Gershkovich, was arrested in Russia on espionage charges.

In a statement, Blinken said, “We are deeply concerned over Russia’s widely-reported detention of a U.S. citizen journalist. We are in contact with the Wall Street Journal on this situation. Whenever a U.S. citizen is detained abroad, we immediately seek consular access, and seek to provide all appropriate support.”

“In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish journalists and civil society voices,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre expressed concern about Evan Gershkovich’s arrest in Russia. She also stated that the White House and State Department spoke with Gershkovich’s employer, the Wall Street Journal, last night.

“The Administration has also been in contact with his family. Furthermore, the State Department has been in direct touch with the Russian government on this matter, including actively working to secure consular access to Gershkovich,” the press secretary said in a tweet.

“The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Gershkovich in the strongest terms. We also condemn the Russian government’s continued targeting and repression of journalists and freedom of the press,” she added.

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