Russian President Vladimir Putin personally approved the arrest of Evan Gershkovich, a correspondent for the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal, writes Bloomberg, citing sources close to the situation.
According to the interlocutors of the agency, the initiative to arrest Gershkovich came from senior officials of the Russian special services. Journalists are sure that the final decision on the arrest was made by the president, since the special services report directly to him.
According to the publication’s sources, this decision is proof that the influence of extremists is growing in the Kremlin, which insists on deepening the confrontation with the United States.
In turn, the director of the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, Alina Polyakova, told the agency that what had happened should be a “wake-up call” not only for the United States, but for the whole West: “This indicates that, according to Putin, a return to stability and there is no reliable relationship,” said Polyakova.
Bloomberg admits Russian authorities may try to swap Evan Gershkovich for businessman Vladislav Klyushin, who is in the US has been recognized guilty of hacking corporate computer networks and insider trading worth tens of millions of dollars. As the agency writes, Russia has previously insisted on including Klyushin in previous prisoner exchanges.
Journalist Evan Gershkovich held at the end of March in Yekaterinburg on a spy case. The FSB of the Russian Federation then said that it had collected secret information about one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex. According to Meduza, before his arrest, Gershkovich went to Nizhny Tagil, where the Uralvagonzavod Defense Plant is located. With Gershkovich held a married couple from Nizhny Tagil, who worked in Uralvagonzavod.
In April, the US State Department announcement Gershkovich “wrongfully detained”, which paves the way for exchange negotiations.