As the Wall Street Journal’s Evan Gershkovich prepared to spend his 32nd birthday on Thursday in a Moscow lockup, Joe Biden has assured the reporter’s family that the White House will ultimately get him back to the US from Russia, the journalist’s sister said.

Danielle Gershkovich remarked on Tuesday in an interview on Newsmax that the president “promised our family personally that he’s going to get Evan home”.

“His friends and family – we just want him to get back to doing what he loves the most,” Danielle Gershkovich said in reference to her brother’s reporting as she appeared on several cable news networks across the political spectrum. “Evan’s not here yet – the job isn’t done, and we’re waiting to see him home.”