The Wall Street Journal writer who was arrested more than two weeks ago on suspicion of espionage, according to the U.S. ambassador to Russia, was able to meet with her, she said on Monday.
According to Ambassador Lynne Tracy, she visited Evan Gershkovich in the notoriously harsh Lefortovo Prison in Moscow and found that “he is in good health and remains strong.”
She wrote on Twitter that it was the “first time we had been permitted access to him since his wrongful detention more than two weeks ago.” “We once more urge his immediate release,”
The United States government, Gershkovich, 31, and his company deny any spying involvement.
Sergei Ryabkov, the deputy foreign minister, stated last week that a prospective prisoner exchange for Gershkovich might happen, but only after the verdict of his trial. There is no predetermined timeframe for that.
The probe may take a while, but similar espionage investigations have continued for a year or longer.
Following her trial and conviction on drug possession charges, American basketball star Brittney Griner was traded for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in December.
She was given a nine-year prison term but only served ten months.
Paul Whelan, a Michigan-based professional in corporate security, is another American who has been detained in Russia since December 2018 on trumped-up espionage claims that his family and the American government have deemed unfounded.
If found guilty, Gershkovich may spend up to 20 years behind bars.
On March 29, the Federal Security Service of Russia detained Gershkovich in Yekaterinburg, the country’s fourth-largest city.
He is the first American journalist imprisoned in Russia for alleged espionage since the end of the Cold War.
The service charges Gershkovich with attempting to gather sensitive information about a Russian arms factory.