Watch: White House press briefing after Russia arrests US journalist

Karine Jean-Pierre delivered a White House press briefing on Thursday, 30 March, after Russia arrested a Wall Street Journal reporter in Moscow on espionage charges.

Evan Gershkovich is the first American reporter to be arrested on spying charges in the country since the Cold War.

Footage emerged on Thursday showing a man, believed to be the US journalist, being led from court to a vehicle.

The Federal Security Service said Mr Gershkovich was detained in the Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg while allegedly trying to obtain classified information.

The Wall Street Journal “vehemently denies the allegations” and is seeking Mr Gershkovich’s release.

In a statement ahead of Thursday's briefing, the White House press secretary said that officials had spoken with the newspaper and Mr Gershkovich's family.

"The State Department has been in direct touch with the Russian government on this matter, including actively working to secure consular access to Mr. Gershkovich," Ms Jean-Pierre said.

"The targeting of American citizens by the Russian government is unacceptable. We condemn the detention of Mr. Gershkovich in the strongest terms."

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