Kremlin denies Trump’s claim he will reach deal to free detained US journalist

kremlin denies trump’s claim he will reach deal to free detained us journalist

Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was arrested in March 2023 and has since appeared in court but has not been put on trial - NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images

Russia has denied a claim by Donald Trump that he will use his personal relationship with Vladimir Putin to free Evan Gershkovich, a reporter who has been detained on spying charges.

Mr Trump said on his Truth Social platform on Thursday that Mr Gershkovich, who works for the Wall Street Journal, would be freed immediately after the US election on Nov 5 if he wins.

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office. He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY,” Mr Trump said.

“Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will do that for me, but not for anyone else, and WE WILL BE PAYING NOTHING!”

Mr Gershkovich was arrested in Russia in March last year on spying charges that he, his paper and the Biden administration have all strongly denied.

He has spent more than a year in a Moscow prison, with no date set for a trial.

However, the Kremlin denied that Mr Trump had agreed any behind-closed-doors deal with Putin for Mr Gershkovich’s release.

Asked about the post, Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said Putin has “naturally not had contacts with Donald Trump”.

Mr Peskov reiterated previous Kremlin statements that contacts with Washington regarding any exchange of prisoners must be conducted “in complete silence and absolutely discreetly. This is the only way they can be effective”.

Putin said in February that it might be possible to free the reporter in exchange for Vadim Krasikov, a Russian serving a life sentence in Germany for murder.

Asked about Mr Trump’s claim, his campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said: “There is only one person who can negotiate the safe return of Mr Gershkovich back to his family - President Trump.”

He did not respond to questions about contact that Mr Trump has had with the Russian president.

The Biden campaign said the release of Mr Gershkovich remained an urgent priority, and it accused Mr Trump of using wrongfully imprisoned Americans as political props.

“Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about the innocent Americans unjustly imprisoned by Vladimir Putin,” TJ Ducklo, a Biden campaign adviser, said in an email.

“Trump has called journalists ‘enemies of the people’ and pledged to imprison reporters whose coverage he doesn’t like – not all that dissimilar to what’s happening right now to Evan Gershkovich in Russia.”

Mr Gershkovich was arrested in March 2023 by the FSB, Russia’s federal intelligence agency, for obtaining information on a “Russian defence enterprise”.

The Kremlin said he had been “caught red-handed” but did not give any evidence for his alleged crime. He has since appeared in court but has not been put on trial.

The Wall Street Journal has launched a worldwide campaign for his release.

Play The Telegraph’s brilliant range of Puzzles - and feel brighter every day. Train your brain and boost your mood with PlusWord, the Mini Crossword, the fearsome Killer Sudoku and even the classic Cryptic Crossword.

OTHER NEWS

15 minutes ago

Roy Keane blasts Kylian Mbappé after bloody nose incident: ‘This is out of order’

15 minutes ago

Independent readers say addressing Brexit should be a priority for the next government

15 minutes ago

One of Australia’s most generous women, Kay Van Norton Poche, dies

15 minutes ago

Female AI workforce grows but few women climbing ladder

15 minutes ago

Operation Furious nabs Australian drivers living out Autobahn fantasies

15 minutes ago

Cash Kings: 3 TSX Stocks That Pay Monthly

18 minutes ago

America’s teachers are among the most burned out, stressed out, unfairly paid workers in society, survey finds. ‘They should be lionized’

20 minutes ago

South Korea orders doctors to return to work amid prolonged strike

20 minutes ago

Wildfire forces the evacuation of an entire New Mexico town

20 minutes ago

Home improvement retailer Rona names J.P. Towner as new chief executive

20 minutes ago

Offer made: Liverpool get immediate answer on 42m bid for "ambitious" star

20 minutes ago

Jason Kidd Issues Stern Luka Doncic Warning To NBA After Finals Loss

20 minutes ago

California's 'Post Fire' Grows as Residents Told to 'Leave Now'

27 minutes ago

How to approach the holiday breakfast buffet: Start at 8.17am and eat two plates of food

27 minutes ago

Clubs spending community grants on their own operations

27 minutes ago

Serbia hit with UEFA charges and investigation for fan misconduct and discrimination at Euro 2024

27 minutes ago

Fans Cringe at Jayson Tatum’s Kobe Bryant Imitation After NBA Finals

27 minutes ago

Fury as seaside flat owners are told to pay £11,000 each for 'essential' £1.2million repairs

29 minutes ago

‘I would pull myself out’: Reece Walsh won’t be put off by Blues tactics as he clears the air with Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii for ugly high shot

30 minutes ago

General election latest: Growing Nigel Farage threat leaves Tories ‘open to Boris Johnson return’

31 minutes ago

Ohtani and Paxton lead the Dodgers to a 9-5 win over the Rockies

31 minutes ago

WA commerce minister meets with troubled home builder Nicheliving amid flood of complaints

31 minutes ago

South Korean soldiers fire warning shots after North Korean troops intrude for a 2nd time this month

31 minutes ago

ESPN Analyst Criticized Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese With One Word

31 minutes ago

MSC sign Orlando Pirates legend Erasmus

31 minutes ago

NSW State Budget 2024 unveiled

31 minutes ago

Orlando Pirates: Three signings so far!- Report

31 minutes ago

Scout’s Analysis: 5 players who could disrupt NHL Draft boards

31 minutes ago

Sharon Stone and Sharon Osbourne wrap their arms around each other on the red carpet at star-studded The Bikeriders premiere

31 minutes ago

Channel Seven viewers point out one major issue with Sunrise's Cash Cow Giveaway: 'It's a mess'

38 minutes ago

Video: The huge issue Americans have with a single word used on Australian menus: 'This changes everything'

39 minutes ago

NSW in battle to wrangle ballooning debt after GST hit

39 minutes ago

Tahira Kashyap Khurrana's directorial debut explores women's empowerment

39 minutes ago

‘Inside Out 2’ scores massive $155 million opening, second-biggest ever for an animated film

40 minutes ago

China targets Europe's farmers, and not its automakers, in response to EU tariffs on electric cars

40 minutes ago

Kristaps Porzingis (leg) returns as Celtics win title; surgery next

40 minutes ago

Bitter loss, but 'a really positive journey' for Mavericks

40 minutes ago

Brad Pitt’s F1 blockbuster to be released in June 2025

40 minutes ago

Kylian Mbappé taken to hospital following brutal injury in Euro 2024 match

40 minutes ago

Boston Celtics are early betting favorites for 2025 NBA title; odds for every team