Gershkovich's Parents 'Optimistic' After Biden Chat

President says he's 'serious on a prisoner exchange' for detained 'WSJ' reporter in Russia
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 13, 2023 1:37 PM CDT
Gershkovich's Parents 'Optimistic' After Biden Chat
President Biden attends a press conference in Helsinki on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

President Biden on Thursday said he's serious about pursuing a prisoner exchange for Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia for more than 100 days, per the AP. The Kremlin earlier this month suggested that it was open to a possible prisoner exchange that could involve the journalist, but it underscored that such talks must be held out of the public eye. Speaking at a news conference in the Finnish capital of Helsinki, Biden made clear that the US is interested. "I'm serious on a prisoner exchange," Biden said. "That process is underway."

Gershkovich's parents said as much in an ABC interview that aired Wednesday. Mother Ella Milman said Biden had promised to do "whatever it takes" to bring their son home, per the New York Times. She added the assurance left her "very, very optimistic that it's going in the right direction." Last week, however, the Biden administration said ongoing discussions had not "produced a clear pathway to a resolution." Gershkovich, held at Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison, was arrested on espionage charges while on a reporting trip. He recently lost an appeal against pretrial detention.

(More Evan Gershkovich stories.)

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