The Russian decision is seen as a direct reaction to the growing tensions between Russia and Britain. Moscow believes that Russian journalists are being discriminated against in Britain, according to state TV channel Rossiya 24, which describes the deportation as “symbolic”.
The press correspondent of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova, commented on the visa decision in a statement in without a telegram.
“We’ve said over and over again that London bullying Russian journalists will have similar consequences.”
Refer to a press release from November 2020, where she herself condemns the sanctions imposed by Britain on a number of Russians involved in the violations against Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. He died in a Russian prison in 2009.
“Western media usually show little interest when Russian journalists do not receive extended visas,” Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
The BBC’s Sarah Rainford will have to leave her post at the end of the month, when the visa that Russia is said to be refusing to extend will expire.
“The expulsion of Sarah Rainford is a direct attack on press freedom, and we condemn it unreservedly,” the BBC’s director general wrote. Tim Davey in a statement.
On August 9, Rainford participated in a hearing of the President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk. I asked him about recent human rights violations in the country, the sanctions, and whether he had lost legitimacy as a result of the persecution of opponents. Mr Lukashenko responded that the torture of opposition figures was staged and that protesters bruised the streets when they “rushed to the police force,” according to the Dogged TV channel.
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