On Friday, President Biden called for Russia’s release Ivan Gershkovitch, reporter for The Wall Street JournalHe is an American citizen who has been accused of spying for the United States government.
“let him go,” Biden told reporters On Friday when asked about Gershkovitch’s arrest.
Russian state news agency TASS reported that Gershkovich was ordered held until May 29. He is spending his third day in Russian captivity.
Then Biden, who stopped speaking to the press in order to catch a glimpse outside the White House before boarding Marine One, said there was an “operation” involving Gershkovitch.
The Russian government’s Federal Security Service claimed to have arrested the journalist while he was “attempting to obtain classified information” about the activities of an “enterprise of the Russian military-industrial complex”.
The National Press Club called for Gershkovitch’s immediate release on Thursday.
“We consider this detention to be unfair and call on the State Department to determine his arrest in this manner at once,” said National Press Club President Eileen O’Reilly in a joint statement with National Press Club Press Institute President Jill Klein.
“Gershkovic is a journalist. He must be released immediately and unharmed and allowed to return to his important work,” the National Press Club continued. “Evan has had an important and distinguished career working for the New York Times and the AFP before the Wall Street Journal.”
The Wall Street Journal also vigorously defended its reporter and denied Russia’s allegations in a statement.
“The Wall Street Journal vigorously denies the FSB allegations and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and loyal reporter, Ivan Gershkovich. We stand in solidarity with Ivan and his family,” wrote Caitlin Royce, WSJ senior director of communications.
Gershkovitch is the first American reporter to be arrested for espionage in Russia since 1986 when US News and World Report reporter Nicholas Danilov was arrested. Danilov was released without charge after 20 days in exchange for a member of the Soviet Union’s United Nations Mission who was in FBI custody.
Gershkovitch was a former correspondent for Agence France-Presse and the Moscow Times and a news assistant at The New York Times, according to his biography in the Wall Street Journal.
A Russian reporter was delivered Six years imprisonment After the Kremlin-controlled parliament approved a law last year banning the publication of “false information” about the country’s military campaign in Ukraine.
Kristen Parks, Louis Cassiano and the Associated Press of Fox News contributed to this report.