US urges Americans to leave Russia ‘immediately’ — RT World News

The call was prompted by the arrest of a WSJ correspondent in Russia for spying

Washington has called on Americans traveling or residing in Russia to leave the country “immediately” the day after the arrest of Wall Street Journal (WSJ) correspondent Evan Gershkovich. While Moscow said it got caught “in the act” attempting to obtain state secrets, the United States condemned the arrest as an assault on “freedom of the press.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply concerned” on development, adding that “In the strongest possible terms, we condemn the Kremlin’s continued attempts to intimidate, suppress and punish journalists and civil society voices.”

“We reiterate our strong warnings of the danger posed to American citizens inside the Russian Federation. U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should leave immediately,” the top diplomat said in a statement.

A similar message was conveyed by the White House, with press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating that the “The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable.”

“We also condemn the Russian government’s continued targeting and repression against journalists and press freedom,” he added. she added, urging Americans to “heed the US government’s warning not to travel to Russia” or leave if they are already in the country.

The call was watered down somewhat by US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, who explained that Washington was not actually calling on all Americans to literally leave Russia and encouraging media to withdraw their correspondents from the country.

Gershkovich, a WSJ correspondent who covers news from Russia, Ukraine and the former USSR, was arrested in the city of Yekaterinburg on suspicion of espionage, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said. ) Russian earlier today. According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the journalist was arrested “in the act” while trying to obtain Russian state secrets.

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