Biden Admin Calls for WSJ Reporter, U.S. Marine Veteran to be Released Overseas – But Is It Enough?

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken has demanded the immediate release of two Americans who have been unjustly detained by Russian authorities. This comes after increasing pressure from conservatives who have been calling for the Biden administration to take a tougher stance towards bringing Americans home who have wrongfully been detained by foreign adversaries. 

A State Department statement said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Sunday and called for the “immediate release” of two Americans currently detained in Russia. 

In his letter, Blinken called for the release of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, and Paul Whelan, an American military veteran who has been detained in the country since 2018. The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested the WSJ reporter last week on espionage charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

Blinked added on Twitter Sunday: “I spoke with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov today to convey our grave concern over Russia’s unacceptable detention of a U.S. citizen journalist. I called for his release and for the release of wrongfully detained U.S. citizen Paul Whelan.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed the United States politicized the journalist’s detention in their own statement, saying, “it is unacceptable for officials in Washington and the western media to whip up a stir with the clear intention of giving this case a political colouring.”

However, Russia has yet to provide any evidence for its allegations against the journalist.

Today marked the journalist’s fifth day in a Russian prison. Here’s ABC’s Good Morning America with more:

Sunday on CBS’ ‘Face the Nation,’ Wall Street Journal’s Emma Tucker said Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s rare call with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, over the detained reporter was “hugely reassuring.” 

She added: “We know that the U.S. government is taking the case very seriously, right up to the top.”

Last week, after news broke of the reporter being arrested in Russia, the Biden administration called all U.S. citizens to leave the country “immediately.”

Blinken’s demand for their release is a positive step towards ensuring that American citizens are protected from unjust detention and prosecution abroad. It is also a reminder that as a nation, we must prioritize human rights and use our diplomatic power to hold those who violate them accountable. 

Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.

Next News Network Team

Next News Network Team

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