23 May 2023 21:28

U.S. once again calls for WSJ reporter Gershkovich's release

WASHINGTON. May 23 (Interfax) - Commenting on the extension of The Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich's arrest in Russia, the White House once again demanded his release, the CNN television channel said.

"Journalism is not a crime. [...] He needs to be released immediately. [...] He shouldn't be detained at all," Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the United States National Security Council John Kirby told the TV channel.

Washington will continue working hard to ensure Gershkovich's return to the U.S., Kirby said. The U.S. will also continue seeking consular access to the journalist, he said.

Later on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State also called for Gershkovich's release and reiterated the demand for consular access to him.

"We have consistently pressed the case that, number one, Russia needs to fulfill its consular obligations, and, number two, they need to immediately release him," Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

On Tuesday, Moscow's Lefortovsky District Court granted investigators' motion and extended the arrest of Gershkovich, charged with espionage, for three more months, until August 30. The hearing was held behind closed doors as the Gershkovich case files are classified.