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Abroad Today, 16:52, Biden calls on Russia to release the detained American journalist

US President Joe Biden, commenting for the first time on the detention of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia, urged the Russian government to release the journalist on Friday.

US President Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden Photo: Picture alliance / Consolidated News Photos

US President Joe Biden, commenting for the first time on the detention of Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkovich in Russia, urged the Russian government to release the journalist on Friday.

Biden also indicated that the US is not going to expel Russian diplomats and journalists.

Earlier, the “Wall Street Journal” had issued a call to expel Russian journalists and the Russian ambassador from the United States.

Such a move would be “the minimum expected,” the paper said.

Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov called such calls absurd and incorrect.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) informed about Gershkovich’s arrest on Thursday.

Already on Thursday, the Moscow court ordered Geršković to be detained for two months.

As stated in the announcement of the Lefortova District Court of Moscow, Geršković’s detention is set until May 29.

Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg, where he allegedly tried to obtain secret information.

Gershkovich is the first journalist from a US publication to be detained in Russia on espionage charges since the Cold War.

The FSB alleges that the journalist collected information on a Russian military industrial company at the behest of the US.

The service does not reveal when the journalist was detained, however, according to local media, it happened on Wednesday evening.

Geršković faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of espionage.

While working in the Wall Street Journal’s Moscow office, Gershkovich wrote about Russia and Ukraine.

His latest article, published this week, focused on Russia’s economic decline under Western sanctions.

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