Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Denies Consular Visit to Jailed U.S. Journalist, Citing Visa Row

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gives a press conference at the UN headquarters. Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday it had denied an upcoming consular visit to jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in retaliation to Washington refusing to grant visas to several Russian journalists.

"The U.S. Embassy was informed that its request for a consular visit on May 11... to U.S. citizen (Evan) Gershkovich, who was detained on charges of espionage, has been rejected. Other potential retaliatory measures are being worked out," the Foreign Ministry said.

It added that American “sabotage, aimed at preventing normal journalistic work” would not go unanswered.

Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of retaliatory steps after Washington denied U.S. visas to Russian journalists who were meant to accompany Lavrov on his visit to UN headquarters.

"We won't forget, we will not forgive this," Lavrov said last week.

Gershkovich was detained in Yekaterinburg, a city in Russia's Ural Mountains, on March 29 and then ordered to two months of pre-trial detention on charges of espionage — allegations Gershkovich strongly denies.

Gershkovich, a former journalist for The Moscow Times, is the first foreign journalist arrested on spying allegations since the Cold War.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

Earlier this month, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Lynne Tracy, who visited Gershkovich at Lefortovo Prison in Moscow, said that he “is in good health and remains strong.”

AFP contributed reporting.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more