Vladimir Putin
Vladimir PutinReuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday he believes a deal can be reached to free Evan Gershkovich, a US reporter who has been detained in Russia since last year.

Speaking with Tucker Carlson, Putin said talks were ongoing with the US about the journalist, who is being held on espionage charges.

The Russian President said he believed a deal could be struck to release Gershkovich "if our partners take reciprocal steps".

"The special services are in contact with one another. They are talking… I believe an agreement can be reached," he added.

Gershkovich, a 32-year-old American son of Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union who works as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, has been held on espionage charges since March 29, 2023, when he was arrested by Russian agents while on a reporting trip in the city of Yekaterinburg.

Gershkovich, the United States government, and The Wall Street Journal deny the allegations, for which the Russian government has not provided evidence. The US government considers him to be wrongfully held.

He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

In late August, a judge ruled that his pre-trial custody would be extended to November 30. Gershkovich has appealed the decision, which was upheld by a Moscow court in December.