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Journalist arrested: Biden wants to release him, while the Wall Street Journal is calling for the expulsion of the Russian ambassador

Joe Biden asked Moscow on Friday to “give up” an American journalist who was arrested in Russia and was his employer Wall Street JournalIt calls for the expulsion of the Russian ambassador and journalists stationed in the United States.

• Also read: Russia arrests Wall Street Journal reporter for ‘espionage’

“Let him go,” the American president called the Russian government, in the face of the journalists who sought, in the White House, his first public reaction to this issue.

Ivan Gershkovich, a 31-year-old Russian-speaking reporter with a reputation for profundity, was arrested in Yekaterinburg, in the Urals, on suspicion of “espionage.”

The American daily says, in an editorial published Thursday night, from Thursday to Friday, “The expulsion of the Russian ambassador from the United States, as well as the Russian journalists working there, would be the least we can do.”

“The timing of the arrest appears to be a calculated provocation to embarrass the United States and intimidate the foreign press still operating in Russia,” he added.

In a letter to staff on Friday night, the Wall Street Journal editor confirmed that everything would be done to “secure Evan’s release” and thanked those who had mobilized in this direction in recent days.

Evan is a member of the Free Press and was doing his job as a journalist until his arrest. Any suggestion to the contrary is wrong,” writes Emma Tucker, calling Russia’s actions “totally unjustified.”

The Kremlin warned Washington, Thursday, against any form of reprisals targeting Russian media operating in the United States, after the arrest of an American journalist who, according to Moscow, was caught “in the act” of espionage.

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In connection with the request to expel all Russian journalists, the newspaper [le WSJ] He could say that, but that shouldn’t happen. “There is simply no reason,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday. He added that the American journalist “was caught red-handed [d’espionnage] And that “the situation is clear.”

Classified as “Confidential”

Russian state news agency TASS reported that Ivan Gershkovich denied the charges against him during a hearing in a Moscow court. However, the American journalist has been placed in pre-trial detention until May 29, a measure that could be extended pending possible trial.

According to the TASS agency, the case has been classified as “secret”, which restricts the publication of information about it.

The only detail available at this point: the FSB announced that it had “thwarted illegal activity” by arresting Ivan Gershkovich in Yekaterinburg, on an unspecified date.

His arrest comes in the context of the increasing repression in Russia against the press since the attack on Ukraine, which led to great tension in relations between Moscow and Washington.

It follows an exchange in December between American basketball star Brittney Grenier, who was being held in Russia, and Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who is imprisoned in the United States.

Brittney Greener and Victor Bot.

France Press agency

Brittney Greener and Victor Bot.

The White House slammed the arrest as “unacceptable” and its spokeswoman, Karen Jean-Pierre, called the espionage charge “ridiculous”, while US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was “deeply concerned”.

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