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Kremlin says dialogue ongoing over US reporter swap

Austrian woman jailed for torturing son in dog cage
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The Kremlin said Thursday discussions were taking place over a possible exchange involving Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was detained in Russia nearly one year ago on espionage charges.

The 32-year-old US citizen was detained by FSB security service agents in March 2023 and accused of spying — the first such charge against a Western journalist since the Soviet-era.

Gershkovich, his employers and the White House all vehemently reject the spying accusation, which they say was fabricated.

Vladimir Putin has expressed willingness to exchange the journalist and the Kremlin on Thursday said conversations were still ongoing behind the scenes.

“We have repeatedly said that there are certain contacts, but they must be carried out in absolute silence,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“Breaking this silence will only create additional problems and prevent any result being achieved in this process,” he added, without elaborating.

A court in Moscow this week ruled that Gershkovich, who earlier worked for the Moscow Times and AFP, would remain in pre-trial detention until late June.

Peskov said during his briefing on Thursday that there was “no indication” of when the trial would begin. Some observers have said a swap is unlikely before a verdict is handed down.

Washington has accused Moscow of arresting US citizens on baseless charges to use them as bargaining chips to secure the release of Russians convicted abroad.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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