President Joe Biden on Thursday made his strongest public pledge yet that the United States is ‘serious’ about orchestrating a prisoner swap to secure the release of detained Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. in Russia.
“I’m serious about a prisoner swap,” Biden told a news conference in Helsinki. “And I’m serious about doing everything we can to free Americans who are illegally detained in Russia or elsewhere, and that process is ongoing.”
Last week, Kremlin officials said they were in talks with their American counterparts about a potential swap that would include Gershkovich, who has been detained in Russia since March. The Biden administration confirmed those talks but said it had yet to “produce a clear path to resolution.”
Biden’s remarks are perhaps the strongest demonstration of his commitment so far in a public setting. Gershkovich’s parents said in an interview with ABC’s “Nightline” on Wednesday that the president had personally assured them he would do “whatever it takes” to bring their son home.
Gershkovich was apprehended for espionage while on a reporting assignment in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Acting as a correspondent after the invasion of Ukraine, he is currently being held in the notorious Lefortovo prison in Moscow. The US government and the Journal deny the charges against Gershkovich.