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American journalist Evan Gershkovich arrested in Russia. The WSJ demands the expulsion of the ambassador. Joe Biden: We have no such plans

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The Wall Street Journal has demanded the expulsion of the Russian ambassador and Russian journalists working in the United States after its correspondent Evan Gershkovich was accused of spying by Russia’s Federal Security Service. US President Joe Biden spoke on the matter, who announced that there were no plans to expel Russian diplomats in response to Gershkovich’s arrest.

“That’s not our plan at the moment,” he said on Friday Joe Biden in response to the question of whether he intends to expel from USA Russian diplomats and journalists. When asked about his message for Russia in connection with the charges against Evan Gershkovich, he replied briefly: “Let him go.”

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal demanded the expulsion of the Russian ambassador and Russian journalists working in the United States after its correspondent Evan Gershkovich was accused of spying by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). In a WSJ editorial, he assessed that Gershkovich’s detention in Russia “shows that the US’s ability to stop attacks on its citizens is weakening.”

READ MORE: American journalist arrested in Russia. What did Evan Gershkovich offend the Kremlin with

The editors expressed gratitude for the words of condemnation from the White House in the case of Gershkovich, but recalled the previous arrests of US citizens in Russia: basketball players Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan. “It is appropriate to ask why (Vladimir – ed.) Putin believes that he can kidnap Americans and take advantage of it,” the editorial office stated.

Evan GershkovichReuters

“WSJ”: The Biden administration will have to consider diplomatic and political escalation

“Thug leaders continue to be thugs if they think they have nothing to fear. The Biden administration will have to consider diplomatic and political escalation. Expelling the Russian ambassador to the US as well as all US journalists working here , is the minimum that should be expected,” the Wall Street Journal concluded.

The daily once again rejected accusations of espionage against Gershkovich. “The authorities (in Moscow – ed.) closely monitor foreign reporters in Russia, and Gershkovich worked there for years,” so “if the FSB really thought he was a spy, they would have expelled him a long time ago,” the editorial office said.

READ ALSO: American journalist arrested in Russia. The White House: This is absolutely unacceptable

“WSJ” also reminded that the last American journalist accused by the authorities in Moscow of espionage was Nicholas Daniloff in 1986. This incident happened at the end of the Cold War.

The court building in the Lefortovo district of Moscow, where the verdict on the arrest of Evan Gershkovich was passed YURI KOCHETKOV/PAP/EPA

Opinions of independent Russian journalists and lawyers

The well-known Russian journalist and Nobel laureate Dmitry Muratov said that he knew Gershkovich and had met him several times. “I know that there is a practice of using journalists as spies or intelligence agents, but this is not the case,” said the former editor-in-chief of the independent Novaya Gazeta, which after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine was forced to stop operations.

“I don’t believe that Gershkovich is a spy,” Muratov said in a video released by Reuters.

According to the well-known Russian lawyer Ivan Pavlov, the initiation of a criminal case against the correspondent of the Moscow office of the “Wall Street Journal” may be a signal to all foreign journalists who still work in Russia. – The previously unwritten rule that accredited foreign journalists are not “to move” no longer works – Pavlov added.

“One of the possible versions of initiating a espionage case against an American journalist is the intention to exchange him for citizens of the Russian Federation convicted of espionage and other charges abroad,” the Russian section of Radio Svoboda assessed.

Gershkovich, 31, a US citizen of Russian origin, was detained in Yekaterinburg in the Urals on Wednesday and formally arrested on Thursday and charged with spying for the United States.

PAP, Reuters, Radio Swoboda, tvn24.pl

Main photo source: YURI KOCHETKOV/PAP/EPA



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