Brussels [Belgium], March 31 (ANI): The European Union Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell on Friday condemned the Russian detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.
Taking to his official Twitter handle, he stressed that journalists must be allowed to exercise their profession freely.
Josep Borrell tweeted, "The EU condemns the detention of @evangershkovich, a journalist and U.S. citizen, in Russia. Journalists must be allowed to exercise their profession freely and deserve protection. The Russian authorities demonstrate yet again their systematic disregard for media freedom."Borrell's remarks come after American reporter for Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia on espionage charges, Russia's top security agency said on Thursday, Al Jazeera reported. WSJ in a statement said, "The Wall Street Journal is deeply concerned for the safety of Gershkovich."US State Department Secretary Antony Blinken on Thursday expressed concern over the detention of an American journalist in Russia. He requested the Americans living in Russia to leave the country "immediately."Taking to his official Twitter handle, Blinken said, "We are deeply concerned over Russia's announcement it has detained a U.S. citizen journalist. The @StateDept's highest priority is the safety and security of U.S. citizens abroad. If you are a U.S. citizen living or travelling in Russia - please leave immediately."Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also expressed concern over the arrest of Evan Gershkovich in Russia. She also stated that last night, White House and State Department Officials spoke with Gershkovich's employer, the Wall Street Journal.
"We are deeply concerned by the troubling reports that Evan Gershkovich, an American citizen, has been detained in Russia," Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
She further said, "Last night, White House and State Department Officials spoke with Mr. Gershkovich's employer, the Wall Street Journal. The Administration has also been in contact with his family. Furthermore, the State Department has been in direct touch with the Russian government on this matter, including actively working to secure consular access to Mr. Gershkovich."The Federal Security Service (FSB) said that the WSJ reporter was detained from the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg while he allegedly tried to obtain classified information.
In a statement, the FSB said, "Gershkovich acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex", read a WSJ report.
As per the Al Jazeera report, the FSB alleged that Gershkovich "was collecting classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex that constitutes a state secret." (ANI)