US President Joe Biden spoke with the parents of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal correspondent detained in Russia, Tuesday.
It's their first time speaking since Gershkovich was arrested in Russia last month.
Biden told reporters, before boarding Air Force One, that he planned to speak with Gershkovich's parents. He connected with them aboard the plane as he flew to Northern Ireland, according to White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
"The president made it clear that his national security team has been and will remain focused on securing Evan’s release as well as that of Paul Whelan," she said, referring to a second American who has been detained in Russia for several years.
She said the charges of espionage against Gershkovich were baseless and said "he should be released immediately."