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A High American Diplomatic Official Demanded from the UN Tribune to Free Journalist Evan Gershkovich

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, United States Ambassador to the UN, called for releasing Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reporter and another American prisoner in the Russian Federation, during the meeting of the United Nations Security Council held on Monday, April 24, and headed by Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, according to a WSJ press release.

“I am calling on you, right now, to release Paul Whelan, Evan Gershkovich immediately, to let Paul and Evan come home and to cease this barbaric practice once and for all,” the diplomat said at the Council’s meeting. The ambassador emphasized that these actions were not worthy of a responsible state while discussing the way American citizens were being used as “bargaining chips, human pawns” in the political games of the Russian Federation.

According to the WSJ, Lavrov lifted his left hand briefly after Thomas-Greenfield’s appeal but passed much of her remarks looking at papers. Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for Lavrov, said he might address the detainees issue in a future news conference.

American journalist Evan Gershkovich, a member of the Moscow bureau of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), was arrested in Yekaterinburg on March 30 and accused of spying for the US. The WSJ denied the charges and demands to release the reporter immediately. According to the media institution, this is the first case of detention of an American journalist on suspicion of espionage since the Cold War. Lynne Tracy, Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) to the Russian Federation, declared on Monday, April 17, that she had made her first visit to the prison where the reporter is being held. Gershkovich was officially indicted on April 7.

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