Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday it was unacceptable for Washington to politicize the case of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who has been detained and accused of spying in Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov told Blinken in a phone call that Gershkovich's fate would be determined by a court. He reiterated Russia's assertion, for which it has not publicly stated any evidence, that the journalist was caught "red-handed" last week.
"Blinken's attention was drawn to the need to respect the decisions of the Russian authorities, taken in accordance with the law and international obligations of the Russian Federation," the ministry said.
"It was emphasized that it is unacceptable for officials in Washington and the Western media to whip up a stir with the clear intention of giving this case a political coloring."
The conversation was initiated by Blinken, the Russian side said.
Russia's FSB security service said on Thursday it had arrested Gershkovich, accusing him of gathering information about a Russian defense company that was a state secret.
The Wall Street Journal has vehemently denied that Gershkovich was spying. The White House has called the espionage charge, which carries a jail term of up to 20 years, "ridiculous."