Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, told Russia’s state-controlled Channel One that the United States threatened Russia with what he called “retaliatory measures” if Russia refused to return Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.
Antonov claims to have met with Victoria Nuland, the under-secretary of state for political affairs.
Gershkovich was arrested in Yekaterinburg while working on a story about the Wagner mercenary group recruiting local residents, as well as Russian citizens' views on the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Russia accused him of being a spy and arrested him for espionage, a claim that the U.S. government and the Wall Street Journal vehemently deny. Espionage in Russia carries a maximum jail term of 20 years.