Russia expels BBC reporter in ‘revenge’

British BBC journalist Sarah Rainford has been deported from Russia. The BBC confirmed earlier reports from Russian state media about the punishment. Rainford, who has been a Moscow correspondent since 2014, must have left the country before the end of the month. The authorities do not want to extend her visa.

According to Russian Radio 24, the decision of the Foreign Ministry came in retaliation, because the British, in turn, make journalists from Russian state radio stations impossible. For example, visas will not be issued or extended. The announcer describes the revenge as a “symbolic eviction.”

The BBC described the Russian move as a “direct attack on press freedom”. The CEO, Tim Davey, is asking the Russian authorities to reconsider their decision. In the meantime, we will continue to provide our independent and impartial reporting.”

to caution

A spokesman for the Russian ministry said that the BBC was informed of the decision a few days ago. According to her, the Kremlin warned London several times about such reprisals. “We have regularly urged the British to end the persecution of Russian journalists.”

According to Russian correspondent Geert Grote Corkamp, ​​it has been rumored for years that Moscow is unhappy with the way British authorities treat Russian journalists in the UK. “There will be problems with their visas,” he said on NPO 1 radio.

But actual evictions are rare, he says. The last time a British journalist’s visa was not extended was in 2011. Then it was about Guardian journalist Luke Harding, who has written several critical articles on Putin.

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bad relationship

According to Grote Corkamp, ​​the Russian action confirms that the relationship between Russia and the United Kingdom is “very bad”. Tensions have been rising between countries for some time. In 2018, Russian Sergei Skripal, who had spied for the British in the past, was too Toxicity in Salisbury, England. His daughter, who was with him at the time, came into contact with the poisonous substance.

In June of this year, it came to British-Russian Confrontation on the Black Sea. Moscow said the Russian navy fired warning shots and dropped bombs near a British naval vessel as a “provocative”. London to reject It was a warning shot.

“These types of incidents suggest that the relationship has been at an all-time low in years,” Grote Corkamp said. Such a measure will only delay any improvement in that relationship.

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