SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Russia expels Dutch journalist, second move against Western media

The magazine stated on Thursday that Russia had dismissed a journalist from a Dutch daily for “administrative infractions,” the second such action against a member of a Western media group in recent months.

According to the Volkskrant, Moscow has cancelled Tom Vennink’s visa and prevented him from visiting the country until January 2025.

Vennink received a fine in 2019 for failing to register his home address with the authorities, and another fine in 2020 for entering a province without first obtaining authorization from the local government.

BBC journalist Sarah Rainsford, one of two of the British broadcaster’s English-language Moscow correspondents, was permanently expelled in August.

Vennink has reported for the Volkskrant since 2015 and had no trouble renewing his press credentials in previous years, the paper said. “He heard on Monday that the Foreign Affairs Ministry had revoked his visa and that he had three days to leave the country,” it said.

Russian officials were not immediately reachable for comment.

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it regretted Moscow’s decision. “It is not acceptable for the Netherlands when a journalist is forced out of the country against his will,” outgoing Foreign Minister Ben Knapen said.

Diplomatic ties between the Netherlands and Russia have been strained in recent years, with the Dutch government blaming Moscow for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

A trial is underway in the Netherlands against three Russians and a Ukrainian allegedly involved in the missile strike that blew the plane out of the sky over territory held by pro-Russian separatists fighting Ukrainian government troops.

Roughly two-thirds of 298 people onboard were Dutch nationals.

Russian denies involvement.

    Source:
  • Reuters