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Putin: Putin Doubles Down on Spy Claim About Jailed Journalist Gershkovich ...

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Published Time: 09.02.2024 - 10:19:12 Modified Time: 09.02.2024 - 10:19:12

Reporter still denies charges Putin


But Carlson did push back on Putin's claims that Gershkovich — a reporter at The Wall Street Journal — is a spy and asked if Russia would release the journalist to him to return to the United States.

"There is no taboo to settle this issue," Putin said in the interview. "We are willing to solve it, but there are certain terms being discussed via special services channels. I believe an agreement can be reached."

In Russia, intelligence agencies are often unofficially referred to as special services.

Reporter still denies charges

Putin's remarks are his most extensive public comments on Gershkovich since The Wall Street Journal reporter was jailed in March 2023 on spying charges that are widely viewed as groundless and politically motivated.

Gershkovich, his employer and the U.S. government vehemently deny the charges against the reporter. The U.S. State Department also has declared Gershkovich wrongfully detained.

Putin appeared to imply that Moscow would be willing to exchange Gershkovich for a Russian assassin jailed in Germany.

The hitman in question is Vadim Krasikov. A German court in 2021 found Krasikov guilty of fatally shooting a former Chechen rebel leader in Berlin in 2019. The court said Russian authorities ordered the killing and sentenced Krasikov to life in prison.

"That person, due to patriotic sentiments, eliminated a bandit in one of the European capitals," Putin said.

The Journal previously reported that Moscow wants Krasikov released in a prisoner swap, possibly for Gershkovich.

No evidence of espionage

Despite jailing Gershkovich for nearly one year on spying charges, Moscow has so far failed to publicly provide any evidence to support the espionage claims. In the interview, Putin doubled down on the spying allegations but did not provide any evidence.

Carlson pushed back on the espionage claims, at one point saying, "The guy's obviously not a spy."

The former Fox News anchor also asked Putin if he would release Gershkovich "as a sign of your decency." Putin responded by saying Russia has run out of "gestures of goodwill."

She was waiting for her passports to be returned when she was detained in October on charges of failing to register as a "foreign agent." Authorities later added charges of spreading false information the Russian military.

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