This week, during a groundbreaking new interview, political commentator Tucker Carlson urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to free Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich from prison so he can return to the United States.
The request was made by Carlson at the conclusion of a more than two-hour-long interview that was published on social media on Thursday evening. .
Putin devoted nearly the entirety of the first half of the interview to defending his invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and presenting his interpretation of Russian history.
Putin’s claimed that the United States had orchestrated a “coup d’etat” in Ukraine, which led to the ousting of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.
In response to Carlson’s persistent inquiries regarding the conditions under which Putin would end the Ukraine conflict and restore peace to the region, Putin stated that the United States must cease providing Ukraine with arms.
Carlson lobbied Putin to release Gershkovich, 32, as a sign of decency at the conclusion of the interview so that he could repatriate him to the United States.
Putin stated that he believed the journalist to be an agent of U.S. intelligence and that he was “covertly obtaining classified information,” presumably from the Russian government. This practice is known as “espionage.”
“We have done so many gestures of goodwill out of decency that I think we have run out of them. We have never seen anyone reciprocate to us in a similar manner. However, in theory, we can say that we do not rule out that we can do that if our partners take reciprocal steps. When I talk about the partners, I first of all refer to special services.” Putin said.
“Special services are in contact with one another. They are talking about the matter in question. There is no taboo to settle this issue. We are willing to solve it, but there are certain terms being discussed via special services channels. I believe an agreement can be reached.” he continued.
“And that is exactly what he was doing. He was receiving classified, confidential information, and he did it covertly. Maybe he did that out of carelessness or his own initiative. Considering the sheer fact that this [qualifies as] espionage. The fact has been proven as he was caught red handed when he was receiving this information.” Putin added.
“If it had been some farfetched excuse, some fabrication, something not proven, it would have been a different story then. But he was caught red handed when he was secretly getting confidential information.” he concluded.