The US maintains the journalist was "wrongfully detained" and believes he was targeted primarily because he is an American citizen.
Russia's Federal Security Service said on March 30 that it had opened an espionage case against the 31-year-old for collecting what it said were state secrets about the military industrial complex.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken conveyed “grave concern” over the Kremlin's detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich on espionage allegations during a call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Evan Geshkovich's detainment marks a serious escalation in Kremlin's efforts to silence perceived critics, a crackdown that gained momentum following Russia's attacks on Ukraine last year.
China's foreign ministry spokesperson says the Japanese citizen has been detained for violating the country's criminal and anti-espionage laws.
The trial is expected to mostly take place behind closed doors due to national security concerns. It is expected to run until at least December 12.
The foreigners "suspected of espionage" were trying to enter Gramsh factory in central Albania, which is used for dismantling derelict weapons, officials say.
For years, the US intelligence community has dedicated resources to countering the threat of terrorism. Pivoting to Beijing won't be easy.
The announcement comes amid diplomatic tensions between Tehran and Stockholm, after a Swedish court sentenced a former Iranian prison official to life for war crimes.
Iran's Revolutionary Guard detains several foreigners, including Britain's second most senior envoy in Tehran, for alleged acts of espionage such as taking soil samples in restricted military areas, state media report.
Benjamin Briere has been charged with espionage and propaganda against Iran after being arrested in May 2020.
The "Two Michaels" were arrested in China in December 2018 shortly after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a US extradition request.
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