White House: Russia’s jailing of Wall Street Journal reporter is ‘unacceptable’

Joe Biden
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement Thursday strongly condemning Russia’s detention of Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen and <i>Wall Street Journal</i> reporter the Kremlin is accusing of espionage. Carolyn Kaster/AP

White House: Russia’s jailing of Wall Street Journal reporter is ‘unacceptable’

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement Thursday strongly condemning Russia‘s detention of Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen and Wall Street Journal reporter the Kremlin is accusing of espionage.

Gershovich’s detention was first reported on Wednesday night, and Jean-Pierre confirmed that State Department officials had been in touch with the Wall Street Journal, Gershkovich’s family, and are “actively working to secure consular access to Mr. Gershkovich.”

RUSSIA DETAINS WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTER, ACCUSES HIM OF ESPIONAGE

“We are deeply concerned by the troubling reports that Evan Gershkovich, an American citizen, has been detained in Russia,” she wrote in a statement. “The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms.”

In the statement, the White House also condemned Russia’s “continued targeting and repression of journalists and freedom of the press.”

“I want to strongly reiterate that Americans should heed the U.S. government’s warning to not travel to Russia,” she concluded. “U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately, as the State Department continues to advise.”

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Gershkovich was arrested on Wednesday by Russia’s Federal Security Service in Yekaterinburg while reporting on Russia and the war in Ukraine before being transferred to Moscow. He is currently scheduled to appear in court on May 29 and will be represented by a state-appointed attorney.

The Kremlin claimed the 32-year-old reporter had been “acting on the instructions of the American side, carried out the collection of information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”

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