America News Desk!! Russia and the United States are headed for another major confrontation as the two countries are now embroiled in an increasingly escalating war of words over the detention of an American citizen by Moscow. Russia’s Federal Security Service detained Ivan Gershkovich, a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal’s Moscow bureau, last week on suspicion of spying for the interests of the US government. The intelligence agency said it had established that Gershkovich, acting on instructions from the US side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex. The foreigner was detained in Yekaterinburg while trying to obtain secret information, it said in a statement. The White House reacted strongly, saying it was deeply concerned about the troubling reports on Gershkovich’s detention.
Accusing the Russian government of targeting American citizens, the US said its State Department has maintained direct contact with the Russian government on the matter. On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken dialed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to express the United States’ grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of an American citizen journalist. Moscow, on the other hand, said that Blinken’s attention was drawn to the need to respect the decisions of the Russian authorities taken in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation and international obligations. Lavrov insisted that Gershkovich was caught red-handed trying to obtain classified information, collecting data constituting a state secret under the guise of a journalistic position, and that his further fate would be determined by the court. .
The Russian Foreign Ministry said after the Lavrov-Blinken phone call, stressing that it was unacceptable for Washington and Western media officials to stir up the matter with the clear intention of giving it a political color. Blinken urged the Kremlin to immediately release Paul Whalen, another US citizen and a former US Marine who has been wrongfully detained in Russian custody since 2018 on espionage charges. As reported earlier by Indiannarrative.com, the Biden administration was severely criticized for preferring a basketball star over Whelan in the dramatic one-to-one prisoner swap that took place at the Abu Dhabi airport on December 8 . Washington and Moscow exchanged jailed Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Brittany Griner for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Critics criticized the US president for leaving behind a US Marine held in a Russian prison for more than four years and bringing home Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medallist. The US has said it will continue to do everything possible to bring Whelan home, now under more pressure with the Gershkovich detention episode. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov did not rule out another exchange, saying the proposal had not yet been put on the table. I will not raise any questions on this plane now, because you know that some of the exchanges that took place in the past were for people who were already serving sentences, Ryabkov said, according to RIA Novosti. Including American citizens. Can the detained journalist become a candidate for exchange with the US? (This content is presented under an arrangement with Indiannarrative.com)
World News Desk!!