Russia extends detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich by 3 months

State Department says Russia needs to fulfill its consular obligations and release Evan Gershkovich and Paul Whelan immediately.

Photo by Mikhail Kryshen on Flickr / CC BY 2.0

On Tuesday, the Russian state-run news agency RIA reported that the Lefortovo Court of Moscow had extended the term of arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich for three months. The reporter was arrested in March under suspicion of espionage.

“The court granted the petition of the investigator to extend the measure of restraint in the form of detention until August 30,” RIA quoted the court.

The U.S. Embassy in Russia stated its “deep concern” about the decision and objected to the denial of consular access to Gershkovich.

The embassy writes: “The United States strongly objects to Russia’s ongoing denial of consular access to Mr. Gershkovich. We reiterate that the claims against him are baseless and call for Mr. Gershkovich’s immediate release.”

State Department spokesperson Mathew Miller said that the charges against Gershkovich are “baseless” and that the U.S. has expressed its concerns “from the minister level.”