More than 100 days after Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia’s Yekaterinburg on espionage charges, US president Joe Biden has said that he is “serious” about a prisoner exchange as a step to free the journalist, AP News .
This comes days after the Kremlin suggested that it was open to the possibility of a prisoner exchange, but emphasised that it didn’t want it to be “discussed in public”.
Gershkovich, who has denied the espionage charges, was arrested while on a reporting trip in Yekaterinburg. He has been detained at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison – known for its – where he is likely to remain until late August, as per a Moscow court ruling.
“I am serious about doing all we can to free Americans being illegally held in Russia or anywhere else for that matter, and that process is underway,” Biden said at a press conference in Helsinki, Finland, concluding his five-day Europe visit.
On June 22, a Moscow court had rejected the WSJ journalist’s appeal to be released and ordered that he must remain in custody until August 30. The Russian authorities have not yet provided any evidence to support the espionage charges, said the report in AP News.