U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy met with jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich on Monday, a State Department spokesperson said, in her third such visit since his March detention on espionage charges he denies.
“Ambassador Tracy said that Evan continues to appear in good health and remains strong, despite his circumstances,” the spokesperson said, adding that it was Washington’s expectation that Moscow would provide continued consular access.
“Once again, the United States calls on the Russian Federation to immediately release Evan Gershkovich and also to release wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan,” the spokesperson added.
Russia has said Gershkovich was caught trying to obtain military secrets while on a trip to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, but has provided no details supporting that assertion. The Wall Street Journal also denies the allegations.
The State Department has designated Gershkovich and Whelan as wrongfully detained and described the charges against both men as baseless. Whelan, a former U.S. Marine detained in Moscow in 2018, is serving a 16-year sentence in a Russian penal colony on espionage charges.