In a recent press briefing alongside Finnish President Sauli Niinisto, President Biden expressed his administration’s determination to secure a prisoner exchange for Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter currently detained in Russia. Gershkovich has been unjustly imprisoned for over 100 days, making him one of several Americans held against their will in the country.
During the briefing, a WSJ reporter asked President Biden about the progress in obtaining Gershkovich’s release and whether he was committed to a prisoner exchange. To this, Biden responded, “I’m serious about a prisoner exchange. I’m serious about doing all we can to free Americans who are being illegally held in Russia or anywhere else for that matter. That process is underway.”
Evan Gershkovich, aged 31, had been stationed in Russia for approximately six years before his arrest on what the U.S. calls “bogus” charges in late March. Despite the challenging circumstances, Gershkovich remains resilient and in good health. U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, had the opportunity to meet with him for the first time in months on July 5, offering a glimmer of hope amidst this trying situation.
The U.S. embassy in Russia took to Twitter to express their gratitude for the meeting, stating, “Evan is in good health and remains resilient despite the circumstances. We hope that the Russian authorities will provide regular consular access.”
While the Kremlin has acknowledged the possibility of a prisoner swap with the U.S., their spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, has refrained from divulging further details. Peskov emphasized that discussions regarding potential exchanges, including that of Russian citizen Vladimir Dunaev, held in U.S. custody on cybercrime charges, should be carried out privately and with utmost discretion.
It is important to note that this isn’t the first instance of a prisoner exchange between the United States and Russia. In 2022, the Biden administration successfully secured the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner in exchange for Viktor Bout, a notorious arms dealer.
The plight of Evan Gershkovich and other Americans unlawfully detained in Russia remains a top concern for the Biden administration. Their commitment to pursuing a prisoner exchange reflects their dedication to ensuring the safe return of American citizens from foreign captivity.
Source Fox News