U.S., Russian Foreign Ministers Clash Over Detained Wall Street Journal Reporter

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by GRETCHEN CLAYSON at dailycaller.com

Following the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, U.S. officials communicated with their counterparts in Russia Sunday in an unsuccessful attempt to secure his release.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his “grave concern” over the detainment of Gershkovich to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov April 2 after the reporter was arrested on suspicion of espionage activities by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) at the end of March. Calling Gershkovich’s arrest “unacceptable,” Blinken demanded the journalist’s “immediate release,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Russian officials deny the arrest was arbitrary, maintaining Gershkovich was caught gathering classified information about a Russian defense company while in the city of Yekaterinburg. Lavrov accused Blinken and the Western media of politicizing the case, calling such interference “unacceptable.”

“Blinken’s attention was drawn to the need to respect the decisions of the Russian authorities, taken in accordance with the law and international obligations of the Russian Federation,” the Russian foreign ministry said, according to Reuters. The Russian foreign ministry added that officials within the U.S. Embassy in Moscow were notified of Gershkovich’s arrest “in accordance with established procedures,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

While the conversation did not secure Gershkovich’s release, the mere fact that communication regarding the reporter’s release was welcome news to his peers at the Wall Street Journal.


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