The U.S. ambassador to Russia visited jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich in Moscow on Monday, the newspaper reported. It was the second time the diplomat has seen him since his arrest three months ago on espionage charges that he denies.
The newspaper did not provide details about Ambassador Lynne Tracy’s meeting with Gershkovich. She last saw him in April shortly after his March 29 arrest, when Russia accused him of trying to obtain military secrets while on a reporting trip to the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.
A judge last month rejected an application for Gershkovich, 31, to be released from a Moscow prison while awaiting trial. Tracy has accused Russia of conducting "hostage diplomacy."
Over the years, Russia has agreed to high-profile prisoner exchanges with the United States, most recently last year when professional basketball star Brittney Griner, sentenced on a drug charge, was traded for convicted Russian arms trafficker Viktor Bout.
But Moscow has said no exchange could take place in the Gershkovich case until a verdict on his charges has been reached. But no date has been set for a trial.
Any prisoner swap is complicated by geopolitical considerations and who each country considers of equal value to trade. In addition, relations between the two countries are at a low point because of Russia's February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the U.S. extensive military support for Ukraine.