State Department Responds to Inquiry about Granting Access to Gershkovitch
Moscow, May 22 – The decision to grant or deny US consular access to the detained Wall Street Journal journalist Ivan Gershkovich depends on the situation, the issue is solved in a business way, Moscow is not ready to put forward certain conditions on this matter, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters.
“It depends on the situation. We explained the reasons for this very clearly. Let’s see what happens next,” Ryabkov said.
On March 30, Russia’s FSB announced that Wall Street Journal Moscow bureau reporter Ivan Gershkovich had been arrested in Yekaterinburg on suspicion of espionage for the US government. According to the Russian intelligence service, the American collected information that constitutes a state secret “about the activities of one of the companies belonging to the Russian military-industrial complex.” He was detained by the Lefortovo Court in Moscow for two months. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov said that Gershkovich was caught in the act. The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, confirmed that Gershkovich’s activities in Yekaterinburg had nothing to do with journalism. According to her, this is not the first time that foreign correspondent status, journalist entry visa and accreditation have been used by foreigners in Russia to cover up non-journalistic activities.
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