The Wall Street Journal: Blinken: ‘No doubt’ Russia has wrongfully detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich

by | Apr 5, 2023 | Stock Market

BRUSSELS — Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that he had “no doubt” a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested by Russian security services last week during a reporting trip and accused of espionage was wrongfully detained, but that the process to reach an official determination on his detention was pending.

The official designation would rev up the U.S. government’s efforts to win Evan Gershkovich’s release. Supervision of his case would then shift to a State Department section known as the Office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, which is focused on negotiating for the release of hostages and other Americans classified as wrongfully detained in foreign countries. Blinken told reporters in Brussels, where he was attending a ministerial summit for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that on his recent call with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, he expressed his views on the unacceptable and wrongful detention of Gershkovich and demanded that Russia release both Gershkovich and another American, Paul Whelan, who is being held on similar charges. “In Evan’s case, we are working through the determination of wrongful detention,” Blinken said. “There is a process to do that and it’s something we are working through very deliberately but expeditiously as well.” “In my own mind, there is no doubt that he is being wrongfully detained by Russia,” he added. Also read: • Detained reporter Evan Gershkovich loved Russia, the country that turned on him • How to support detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich on social media • ‘Lefortovo is the most isolated place to be’: Inside the infamous Russian prison holding Evan Gershkovich A proposal to bring Whelan home has been “on the table” with Russia for several months, Blinken said, adding that he told Lavrov that Moscow “should move on that.” According to the State Department’s official guidance, “every wrongful detention is different, and there is no one pre-determined way to secure the safe release of a person who has been wrongfully detained overseas.” Typically, diplomats, l …

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