US expresses concern over Russia detention of US journalist


The US on Sunday expressed concern over Russia’s detention of US citizen journalist Evan Gershkovich and called for his immediate release.
US’ concern was expressed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a telephone conversation with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Secretary Blinken conveyed the United States’ grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a US citizen journalist. The Secretary called for his immediate release,” according to a readout issued by the US Department of State and attributed to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel.
Blinken further urged the Kremlin to immediately release wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan. The Secretary and Foreign Minister Lavrov also discussed the importance of creating an environment that permits diplomatic missions to carry out their work.
“I spoke with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today to convey our grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a U.S. citizen journalist. I called for his release and for the release of wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan,” Blinken tweeted on Sunday.
An American reporter for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Evan Gershkovich, was arrested in Russia on espionage charges, Russia’s top security agency said on Thursday, reported Al-Jazeera. In a statement, the WSJ said, “The Wall Street Journal is deeply concerned for the safety of Gershkovich.” The Federal Security Service (FSB), a top KGB successor agency, said that the WSJ reporter was detained in the Ural Mountain city of Yekaterinburg while he allegedly tried to obtain classified information.
In a statement, the FSB said, Gershkovich, acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”
The FSB has also alleged that Gershkovich “was collecting classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitutes a state secret,” according to Al-Jazeera. The local media stated that he was covering the war in Ukraine and the Wagner mercenary group before getting detained. The mention of the date of arrest was not there in its statement; however, Gershkovich could be imprisoned for about 20 years if he gets convicted of espionage.