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Russia assured the American ambassador on Thursday that it was “useless” to try to put pressure on Moscow over the case of American journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested on charges of “espionage” which Washington rejects. The new American ambassador, Lynne Tracy, was received on this subject by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov. “The hype around this case (…) in order to put pressure on the Russian authorities and on the court which will have to decide the fate of Evan Gershkovich is useless and senseless,” said his ministry in a press release.

According to Moscow, Mr. Riabkov insisted during this meeting on “the seriousness of the charges once morest” Evan Gershkovich, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal and who also previously worked for AFP in Moscow. “He was caught red-handed while trying to obtain secret information, using his status as a journalist as a cover for illegal actions, qualified as espionage”, assured Mr. Ryabkov.

Mr. Gershkovich, arrested in Ekaterinburg in the Urals by the Russian security services, is in pre-trial detention awaiting trial.

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