Biden Wants To Do Prisoner Exchange For Who?

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Thursday, President Joe Biden stated that he was serious about pushing for prisoner exchanges with Russia for those who have been detained for over 100 days. Earlier this month, Moscow had similarly claimed to be open to the possibility of exchanging prisoners including Evan Gershkovich, however, they did note that all those negotiations needed to be completed in private.

Biden during a press conference in Helsinki, Finland argued that he was serious about considering all the possible options to free Americans who have been detained not only in Russia but elsewhere illegally. Gershkovic in particular was arrested during a reporting trip on espionage charges. He is currently being held in Lefortovo prison in Moscow, which is particularly known for its bad conditions.

In a recent ruling, a Moscow court ruled in favor of Gershkovic remaining in custody until Aug. 30.

Both Gershkovic and his employer have repeatedly denied the allegations that the Kremlin had brought against him. The U.S. government has also stated that the man was wrongfully detained in Russia. The arrest increased worries by journalists in Russia, while the Russian authorities have failed to provide any evidence to back their claims of espionage.

Jake Sullivan, the White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan stated last week that the two sides have been negotiating but that currently there is no “clear pathway” to having Gershkovic released. Gershkovic is the first American reported to be facing espionage charges in Russia in decades. The last time was when Nicolas Daniloff was arrested in September 1986 by the KGB. However, Daniloff had been released within 20 days following an exchange for a Soviet Union’s U.N. mission employee who had been arrested by the FBI.

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