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We Don’t Plan to Boot Russian Diplomats over Detained WSJ Reporter, ‘This Is Not a New Tactic’ from Putin

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On Friday’s broadcast of CNN International’s “Amanpour,” White House National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby stated that there aren’t any plans to expel Russian diplomats over Russia’s detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, the focus is on getting Gershkovich released, and “this is not a new tactic from Mr. Putin.”

Guest host Bianna Golodryga asked, “President Biden was asked, just today, if he plans to expel Russian journalists or diplomats. He said there are no plans right now. Why not?”

Kirby responded, “We are taking a look at this case, obviously, very closely. Our focus, right now, Bianna, is getting Evan out of there, getting him released, and working towards getting him released. So, that’s where the focus is right now. And I don’t have anything to add to what the President said in terms of any consequences that will come from this. I think it’s important to remember a couple of things: Number one, this is not a new tactic from Mr. Putin. He has detained American citizens and citizens from other countries in a routine way on, many times, sham charges. That’s number one. Number two, President Biden never forgets Americans that are detained overseas. He has a whole team here at the State Department, at the National Security Council dedicated to getting those folks home. And we’re going to do that in Evan’s case. We’re going to work just as hard for Evan as we are for everybody else. But each case has got to be looked at individually.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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