The U.S. ambassador in Moscow said that she met with Evan Gershkovich in prison on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reporter’s first consular visit since he was detained more than two weeks ago.
Mr. Gershkovich, 31, was arrested by Russian security services in late March and formally charged with espionage, an accusation that his employer and U.S. officials vehemently deny. While Mr. Gershkovich has been able to meet with Russian lawyers, the State Department had repeatedly called for the Russian authorities to grant consular access.
On Monday, Lynne M. Tracy, the ambassador, said she had been allowed to see Mr. Gershkovich in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison.
“He is in good health and remains strong,” she said in a brief statement posted on Twitter. “We reiterate our call for his immediate release.”
Ms. Tracy, who was sworn in as the ambassador in January, met with Sergei A. Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, in early April to discuss the arrest.
Mr. Gershkovich is scheduled to have an appeal of his detention heard in Moscow on Tuesday, according to the Interfax news agency, which cited the court’s press service.
The State Department last week designated Mr. Gershkovich as “wrongfully detained,” which means that the U.S. government sees him as the equivalent of a political hostage and reflects its belief that the charges are fabricated.