11 Apr 2023 18:55

Biden says convinced journalist Gershkovich's arrest in Russia illegal

WASHINGTON. April 11 (Interfax) - United States President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he is convinced that journalist Evan Gershkovich's arrest in Russia is illegal.

"That is totally illegal," U.S. media outlets quoted Biden as saying. In addition, the U.S. president said that he would possibly talk to Gershkovich's relatives on the phone during his flight to Belfast.

Biden made such statements ahead his visit to Northern Ireland.

In late March, the public relations center of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported the detention of Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen born in 1991. The FSB said "the American was detained in Yekaterinburg while trying to obtain secret information."

On March 30, Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court granted a motion from investigators on taking him into custody at least until May 29. According to the FSB, Gershkovich, "acting on the orders of the U.S., was gathering information about a Russian defense plant that constitutes a state secret."

On April 7, a source familiar with the situation told Interfax that investigators brought formal charges against Gershkovich. "Gershkovich has been indicted" under Russian Criminal Code Article 276 (espionage), the source said then.