US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken on Thursday requested the Americans living in Russia to leave the country “immediately”, after the reporter was arrested in Moscow.
Taking to Twitter, Blinken said, “We are deeply concerned over Russia’s announcement it has detained a U.S. citizen journalist. The @StateDept’s highest priority is the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad. If you are a U.S. citizen living or travelling in Russia – please leave immediately.”
These remarks came after an American reporter for Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia on espionage charges, according to Al-Jazeera.
In a statement, as reported by ANI, 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 also expressed concern over the arrest of Evan Gershkovich in Russia.
US journalist Evan Gershkovich has been arrested in Russia and accused of spying while working for the Wall Street Journal.
An experienced Russia reporter, he was working in the city of Yekaterinburg at the time of his detention.
The Kremlin claimed he had been caught “red-handed” but the Wall Street Journal vehemently denied the allegations against him.