US calls on all Americans to leave Russia immediately
US authorities have already requested consular access to the arrested journalist Gershkovich
After the arrest of The Wall Street Journal journalist Evan Gershkowitz, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on Americans in Russia to "leave" the country immediately. He also said that Washington is "deeply concerned" about the arrest of the journalist.
"We strongly condemn the Kremlin's ongoing attempts to intimidate, suppress and punish journalists and civil society. The State Department's highest priority is the safety of U.S. citizens abroad. We reiterate our strong warnings about the dangers facing U.S. citizens in the Russian Federation," Blinken said in a statement.
The US authorities are in contact with the WSJ and the Russian government and have already requested consular access to Gershkovich.
In addition, President Joe Biden's administration has contacted the journalist's family.
On March 30, the Lefortovo Court in Moscow arrested Gershkovich in the "espionage" case. He will be held in a pre-trial detention center until May 29. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Background. As reported, Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg, where he was looking for material for an article about the Wagner PMC and the attitude of local residents to the war in Ukraine. The FSB accused him of collecting information "about one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex, which constitutes a state secret."
The journalist has been living and working in Russia since 2017. He is a descendant of emigrants from the USSR.
The Kremlin said that Gershkovich "was caught red-handed". The Wall Street Journal denies the allegations and demands the immediate release of its employee.