Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a telephonic conversation, told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that it is up to the court to decide the fate of The Wall Street Journal’s detained reporter, TASS Agency reported citing Foreign Ministry.
“In light of the established evidence of the US national’s illegal activities, his future will be determined by the court. The American embassy in Moscow was duly notified about his detention,” the ministry said.
The American reporter for Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Evann Gershkovich was arrested in Russia on Thursday on espionage charges, according to Al-Jazeera.
“In the context of the discussion of the issue of the detention of US national Gershkovich in Russia on suspicion of espionage, which was raised by the Secretary of State, Blinken’s attention was drawn to the necessity to respect the Russian authorities’ decision made in conformity with the law and Russia’s international commitments,” the ministry said.
“Lavrov stressed that Gershkovich had been detained red-handed when he was receiving secret data and was collecting data constituting a state secret acting under the guise of a journalist’s status,” TASS Agency reported citing the ministry’s statement.
The ministry also stressed that it is inadmissible for US officials and Western mass media to stir up hysteria with an obvious aim of giving a political overtone to this case,” the ministry said.
The call was initiated by the US to express concern over Russia’s detention of US citizen journalist Evan Gershkovich and called for his immediate release.
“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Secretary Blinken conveyed the United States’ grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a US citizen journalist. The Secretary called for his immediate release,” according to a readout issued by the US Department of State, attributed to Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel.
Blinken further urged the Kremlin to immediately release wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan. The Secretary and Foreign Minister Lavrov also discussed the importance of creating an environment that permits diplomatic missions to carry out their work.
“I spoke with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today to convey our grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a U.S. citizen journalist. I called for his release and for the release of wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan,” Blinken tweeted on Sunday.