Biden 'serious' about prisoner exchange with Russia for WSJ reporter

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been jailed in Russia for more than 100 days on accusations of spying.
Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich
Posted at 1:44 PM, Jul 13, 2023

President Joe Biden confirmed Tuesday that he's open to a prisoner swap with Russia for Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. 

The journalist has been jailed in Russia for more than 100 days on accusations of spying. It's a claim Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government have repeatedly denied. 

President Biden was asked about Gershkovich during a press conference in Finland, which just joined NATO. 

"I’m serious about prisoner exchange," President Biden said during a press conference. "I’m serious about doing all we can to free Americans being illegally held in Russia, or anywhere else for that matter, and that process is underway."

The Russians have suggested they would be open to a potential prisoner swap. 

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich stands in a glass cage in a courtroom

US working to release reporter who's been in Russian jail for 100 days

The Kremlin suggested that it was open to a possible prisoner exchange that could involve the journalist.


Prisoner exchanges are not without controversy. The White House took heat from many Republicans after a prisoner swap involving WNBA star Brittney Griner

She was released from Russian captivity in December 2022 in a deal for Viktor Bout, an international arms dealer.

Griner had been detained for about 10 months on drug charges. She was sentenced to nine years in prison. 

Gershkovich's case is still going through the Russian court system. However, his family is not optimistic that he will get a fair trial. Russia's justice system reportedly has an acquittal rate of less than 1%. 

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner.

WNBA Star Brittney Griner Freed In U.S.-Russia Prisoner Swap

Brittney Griner's arrest in February made her the most high-profile American jailed abroad.