Russia is fully committed to fighting “American hegemony” in the world and “anti-Russian activities” by foreign countries. In addition, it will use the military as necessary to “deter and prevent” aggression against it and its allies. accidental Take Russia Presiding over the UN Security Council for a month starting this weekend.
The grave words are at the heart of the new 42-page, 76-point foreign policy approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a Security Council session on Friday. The document describes Russia as “one of the centers of world development” and “a Eurasian, European and Pacific power” that “plays a unique role” in maintaining the balance of power in the world and ensuring the “peaceful development of mankind”. The document also states that Russia will henceforth make its foreign policy dependent on the way it treats other countries.
The presentation of the document comes amid a week of high tensions between Moscow and Washington. On Wednesday, 31-year-old American journalist Ivan Gershkovich became a correspondent for The Wall Street Journalwho was detained by the FSB in Yekaterinburg on suspicion of espionage for the United States.
Born in the United States to Russian parents, Gershkovitch has been working in Russia for various media outlets since 2017. He is said to have investigated Russian mercenary army Wagner in Yekaterinburg. According to the Meduza news site, the journalist also visited the neighboring city of Nizhny Tagil, where a defense complex is located. In a statement, the FSB wrote that Gershkovich was “collecting state classified information on the activities of the Russian military-industrial complex on the instructions of the US government.”
On Thursday, Gershkovich was flown to Moscow and put on trial at the Lefortovo Court, where he pleaded not guilty. By court order, he will remain in detention for at least two months.
Intimidation of journalists
Although much remains unclear, it appears that Russia wants to pressure both the US government and Western correspondents in Moscow with the arrest. Thursday’s statement by Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, that Gershkovich had been caught “in the act” fueled speculation that the Kremlin may have authorized the arrest. Few hope that Gershkovich will be released soon, or that there will be more clarity on the charges.
In Russia, espionage trials take place behind closed doors, and acquittals are rarely handed down. A long-term exchange may happen, as it did last year when American basketball star Brittney Grenier was replaced by Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Thursday it was still “too early” to think about it.
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The United States takes the issue very seriously. A White House spokesperson called the accusations “ridiculous” and “unacceptable” on Thursday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the Kremlin’s “continued efforts to intimidate, suppress, and punish journalists and activists.” The shock was also great in the press circles this week. “This is the Kremlin’s way of intimidating Western journalists who still report in Russia,” said Jane Cavelier of Reporters Without Borders. She said she feared Russia could become an “information black hole” if Western journalists could no longer safely report from the country.
in a letter More than thirty major news agencies asked Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, on Friday to “immediately release Gershkovitch, without conditions.” “He’s a journalist, not a spy,” said the editors, among others FTBloomberg, Euronieuws, AFP, and NOS.
Nicholas Danilov was the latest American journalist accused of espionage by Russia. He was arrested briefly in 1986 in response to the arrest of a Russian spy in the United States. In 2020, former US Marine Paul Whelan is sentenced to 16 years in prison for spying for the United States. Whelan, who is being held like Gershkovitch in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison, maintains his innocence.
A version of this article also appeared in the April 1, 2023 newspaper
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