WASHINGTON – The White House said on Friday there is still no clear “pathway” to getting jailed Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich home from Russia, despite high-level talks.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed comments from the Kremlin earlier this week that there had been contacts between the two sides.
“It is true and we have said that we remain in contact with Russian authorities at high levels on these cases to try to figure out a way to bring home unjustly detained Americans, including Evan,” he told reporters.
Asked about reports that a prisoner swop was being negotiated, he said the White House has been clear “that we are prepared to do hard things in order to get our citizens home.”
However, “I do not want to give false hope,” he said.
“What the Kremlin said earlier this week is correct: there have been discussions. But those discussions have not produced a clear pathway to a resolution.”
Marking the 100th day since Gershkovich was detained on what his lawyers and newspaper say were trumped up espionage charges while working as a correspondent in Russia. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said he was “being held by Russia for a leverage because he is an American.”
“Our message is… keep the faith,” she said. AFP