NATO chief calls for “immediate release” of US journalist arrested in Russia

Catherine Nicholls

NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called for the “immediate release” of US national Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia on spying charges last Friday.

“I join the United States in their call on Russia to release the American journalist Evan Gershkovich,” Stoltenberg said in a news conference Monday. “His arrest is of concern. It is important to respect freedom of the press, the rights of journalists, and the rights to ask questions and to do their jobs. Therefore, we call on his immediate release.”

Russian authorities detained Gershkovich last week and accused him of spying, signaling a significant ratcheting of both Moscow’s tensions with the United States and its campaign against foreign news media, which has been under intense pressure since President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year. The Wall Street Journal categorically rejected those allegations, saying in a statement that it “vehemently denies the allegations from the FSB and seeks the immediate release of our trusted and dedicated reporter.”

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