US Urges Americans in Russia to Leave "Immediately"
Story Code : 1049879
Taking to Twitter, Mr. Blinken said, "We are deeply concerned over Russia's announcement it has detained a US citizen journalist. The @StateDept's highest priority is the safety and security of US citizens abroad. If you are a US citizen living or traveling in Russia - please leave immediately," according to NDTV.
These remarks came after an American reporter for Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Evan Gershkovich was arrested in Russia on espionage charges, according to Al-Jazeera.
In a statement, Mr Blinken said that he is in contact with the Wall Street Journal on this situation.
"Whenever a US citizen is detained abroad, we immediately seek consular access, and seek to provide all appropriate support," he said.
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also said that the US government should heed the warning to not travel to Russia.
US citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart immediately, as the State Department continues to advise, Ms. Pierre tweeted.
The Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Thursday that Evan Gershkovich had been detained in the Ural Mountains city of Ekaterinburg while trying to obtain classified information, according to The Guardian.
The security service announced that Gershkovich “was collecting classified information about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex”.
The FSB did not say when the arrest took place. Gershkovich could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of espionage.
Gershkovich is the first reporter for a US news outlet to be arrested on espionage charges in Russia since the cold war. His arrest comes amid bitter tensions between Moscow and Washington DC over the fighting in Ukraine.