“We are deeply concerned over Russia’s widely reported detention of a US citizen journalist,” Blinken said in a statement, referring to Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. The US generally avoids naming citizens arrested abroad without receiving formal permission from their families.
The US said it was seeking consular access in regards to the American journalist’s detention.
US officials said they were in touch with Gershkovich’s family as well as the newspaper and that the State Department had contacted Russia to seek consular access.
“The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Gershkovich in the strongest terms,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“I want to strongly reiterate that Americans should heed the US government’s warning to not travel to Russia. US citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately.”
President Joe Biden had been briefed on the detention, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement connected the detention to the crackdown on media in Russia, whose relations with Washington have nosedived since the invasion of Ukraine.
“In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, repress, and punish journalists and civil society voices,” Blinken said.