(Moscow) Russian diplomacy admitted on Wednesday that it had still not authorized a representative of the American consulate to go to prison to see journalist Evan Gershkovich, arrested while reporting in Russia and whom Moscow accuses of being a spy.

“We are examining the question,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov laconically replied to Russian agencies asking if the journalist would be able to receive a visit from a representative of his embassy, ​​​​almost two weeks after his arrest. .

He also brushed aside Washington’s decision to call Mr. Gershkovich’s imprisonment “arbitrary detention,” a qualification that allows the case to be handed over to the U.S. special envoy for hostages.

“We don’t accept any attempt at pressure, it doesn’t matter to us what status he was given in Washington,” Ryabkov said.

“We will act according to our internal imperatives, our standards, our laws,” he added.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also claimed in a statement that “the status given to him by the US authorities does not matter.”

His spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, denounced the “hype that American officials and Western media have generated around Gershkovich”.

The Russian security services (FSB) announced on March 30 the arrest of the Moscow correspondent of the Wall Street Journal and former AFP journalist, while he was on assignment in Yekaterinburg. The whole file is classified.

Russia accuses him of espionage, locking him up in Moscow’s infamous Lefortovo prison, a first since Soviet times.

The person concerned, his newspaper, his relatives and the American government rejected the Russian accusations.

Many observers believe that he could serve in Moscow as part of a possible future prisoner exchange with Washington.

Russian-American relations are at their lowest, and continue to deteriorate due to the Russian assault on Ukraine.

Having suffered a series of military failures and suffered very heavy losses, Russia now presents this conflict as a Western-orchestrated proxy war against Moscow.