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Russian Foreign Ministry deprives Polish journalist of accreditation in tit-for-tat move

December 18, 2015, 16:12 UTC+3

As of today, Polish correspondent Waclaw Radziwinowicz has no right to work as a journalist in the territory of Russia

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Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow

© Natalya Garnelis/TASS

MOSCOW, December 18 /TASS/. Russia has deprived Waclaw Radziwinowicz, a journalist of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, of his accreditation in response to Warsaw’s expulsion of Russian journalist Leonid Sviridov from Poland, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakahrova wrote in Facebook on Friday.

"The reason is simple: we did that exclusively on a tit-for-tat principle. As of today, the Polish correspondent has no right to work as a journalist in the territory of Russia. Explanations have been given to him personally and to the Polish ambassador to Moscow. It was a forced measure. It was not our choice. Our foreign colleagues should understand the consequences of unfounded victimization of Russian journalists," Zakharova wrote.

She emphasized that the Russian side had been forced to take symmetrical measures in accordance with the law on the basis of the principle of reciprocity.

Leonid Sviridov, a correspondent of the Rossiya Segodnya media holding, left Poland on December 12. The Polish Foreign Ministry revoked his accreditation more than a year ago and the department for the affairs of foreigners stripped him of his residence permit. The materials of his case are strictly confidential. Sviridov had sought to appeal the decision for the past few months but had to leave the country anyway. The next trial on the journalist’s case will take place in mid-January 2016.

"The Russian Foreign Ministry has commented on the Polish authorities’ strange move several times over the past year. The move is considered to be strange because the Russian journalist did not receive any clear information about his wrongdoings," Zakharova said.

She noted that she disagreed with what Waclaw Radziwinowicz said about the historical role of Soviet General Ivan Chernyakhovsky (his monument has recently been dismantled in Poland) at one of the briefings held at the Russian Foreign Ministry. Zakharova said the differences were not the reason for persecuting the Polish journalist.

"Your remarks made against the background of total indifference to information briefings held by the Foreign Ministry did not serve as ground for launching any actions against you. You have always remained a journalist for us - not "good" or "bad" but simply a journalist," the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

"We have always been open to work with you. We have always been ready to respond to the most complicated and sometimes unfair questions and reproaches. Unfortunately, Russian journalist do not receive the same kind of treatment in Europe, including Poland," Zakharova wrote.

Radziwinowicz told Polish journalists upon returning from the Russian Foreign Ministry that he was supposed to leave Russia in the course of 30 days.

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