Moscow, Aug 14: The BBC on Friday condemned Russia’s “direct assault on media freedom” after authorities refused to increase Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford’s visa, forcing her to depart the nation.
The British broadcaster has requested Russia to “rethink” the choice which was introduced by Russian state TV Rossiya 24 on Thursday night time.
What has the BBC stated?
“The expulsion of Sarah Rainsford is a direct assault on media freedom, which we condemn unreservedly,” stated BBC director-general Tim Davie.
Sarah Rainsford, who speaks fluent Russian, has been reporting on and off in Russia for 30 years, having made Moscow her house since 2014 at her present posting.
She’s one of many British broadcaster’s two English-language correspondents in Moscow.
Davie referred to as her “an distinctive and fearless journalist… who supplies impartial and in-depth reporting of Russia and the previous Soviet Union.”
“We urge the Russian authorities to rethink their determination,” Davie added. “Within the meantime, we are going to proceed to report occasions within the area independently and impartially.”
Rainsford now has till the top of August to depart the nation.
What did Russia say?
A Russian TV channel presenter on Rossiya 24 stated on Thursday night that it was “a milestone expulsion” after Rainsford had “crossed all our pink strains.”
The presenter stated the choice adopted UK rejections of visas for Russian journalists of broadcaster RT and on-line state information outlet Sputnik.
Neither Russia’s International Ministry nor its embassy in London had something official to say concerning the announcement.
However Russian International Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on her Telegram channel that “every thing was defined intimately to BBC representatives who lately visited the International Ministry.”
Zakharova, who by no means recognized Rainsford by title, added that the ministry had made “common statements, urging the British to finish persecution of Russian journalists.”
Rainsford’s efficient expulsion adopted a International Ministry assertion saying sure unnamed UK nationals would now not be allowed in Russia for “involvement in anti-Russian actions.” It isn’t clear whether or not Rainsford was certainly one of them.
This newest controversy additional worsens relations between Moscow and London following a sequence of worldwide incidents between the 2 nations, together with the 2018 nerve agent poisoning of a former double agent, Sergei Skripal, in England.