Moscow considering US request for consular access to detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich, Russian media says

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Russia is considering the United States' request for consular access to detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, Russia's state news agency Ria Novosti reported Tuesday.

All requests for consular visits to Gershkovich are considered by the relevant Russian services," Russia's Ryabkov said according to RIA Novosti. 

RIA Novosti adds Moscow has seen only “attempts of pressure and threats from Washington on the subject.”

The US State Department has yet to comment.

Some background: Gershkovich, a US citizen, was arrested in Russia in March on espionage charges, in a sign of the Kremlin’s crackdown on foreign media news outlets since it invaded Ukraine last year.

The Wall Street Journal has vehemently denied the spying accusations against Gershkovich.

Gerschkovich is currently being held in a pre-trial detention center at the notorious Lefortovo prison in Moscow until May 29. Last month, he appeared in Moscow City Court – where he was pictured standing in a glass cage – to ask that his pre-trial detention be under house arrest rather than jail. His appeal was denied.

US State Department principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said last month that Washington was “deeply disappointed” that Moscow had rejected their request to visit Gershkovich. 

Moscow’s initial rejection was in retaliation to Washington’s failure to provide visas to Russian journalists from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s pool when he visited the United Nations in April.

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