According to the Russian envoy, the US threatened punishment when Wall Street Journal writer Evan Gershkovich was imprisoned on charges of espionage. He even suggested that the total number of American journalists that are working in Russia should be reduced.
In Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on March 30 that it had detained Gershkovich and had filed an espionage charge against him for gathering what it claimed were state secrets regarding the military-industrial complex.
The Journal and Gershkovich, the only American journalist jailed in Russia since the end of the Cold War on suspicion of espionage, have denied any involvement in spying.
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In addition to calling the Russian accusations of espionage absurd, the United States has asked Russia to free Gershkovich. President of the United States Joe Biden has demanded Gershkovich’s release.
Talks between Russia and U.S.
In a statement to Russia’s First Channel state television. Russian envoy Anatoly Antonov said, “The Americans have threatened us with retaliatory measures if we do not release Gershkovich in the near future.” We’ll have to wait and see what they do.
Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Under Secretary of State, accused Russia of imprisoning Gershkovich unlawfully, and Antonov claimed he had a “very harsh” talk with her about it. According to Antonov, Nuland had constantly and unproductively interrupted him.
According to the Russian ambassador, it may be time to restrict the number of American journalists working in Russia.
The Americans usually insist on reciprocity, which is a really excellent phrase, Antonov said on the Bolshaya Igra program
“Perhaps the time has come for us to show reciprocity and reduce the number of American journalists working in Moscow and in Russia as a whole to the number [of Russian journalists] working in Washington and New York,” Antonov said.
The Kremlin claimed that Gershkovich had been conducting espionage “under the cover” of journalism. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Gershkovich was caught red-handed trying to gather secrets.
On Monday, the United States declared that Russia had “wrongfully detained” Gershkovich. They claimed that the issue is political and that the espionage accusations are untrue.
After President Vladimir Putin sent soldiers into Ukraine last year. Several American journalists left the country; more have since Gershkovich’s arrest.
The crisis in Ukraine and the possibility of arbitrary detention or harassment by Russian law enforcement. Officials have prompted the United States to regularly advise its nationals to leave Russia.