MOSCOW, January 15 (Itar-Tass) - US journalist David Satter has been barred from entering Russia for a five-year term over violations of the Russian migration rules, an official with the Russian Federal Migration Service said on Wednesday.
“That citizen of the United States violated migration regulations, which since last August stipulate a penalty in the form of deportation for such violations,” Dmitry Demidenko, the head of the service’s department for relations with foreign nationals, told a news conference.
The official said that the deportation of 66-year-old Satter and his five-year entry ban followed the Moscow Tagansky Court’s ruling last November.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the US journalist entered Russia on November 21, 2013, received a journalist's accreditation with the press center of the ministry and was instructed to immediately check in with the Russian Federal Migration Service to obtain a multiple entry visa allowing him to stay in Russia.
Satter, however, turned up at the Migration Service on November 26 only to be denied a visa for violating Russian migration laws, the statement said adding that in other words “the US citizen stayed in Russia illegally between November 22 and 26.”
The US journalist left Russia for Ukraine in early December. The British daily The Guardian reported on Monday that on December 25 Satter applied for a visa at the Russian embassy in Kiev. His request was turned down.
Satter is the author of three books on the former Soviet Union and Russia, and since last September he worked in Moscow as an adviser with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. He regularly travelled to Russia since 1969 and done a number of stints as a correspondent for various media, including The Financial Times.
The expulsion of the US journalist is the first since the end of the Cold War era between Russia and the United States and comes on the eve of the Winter Olympics, which Russia hosts next month in its resort city of Sochi on the Black Sea.
This is the second time when Russia was chosen to host Olympic Games. The summer Olympics in 1980, hosted by then-Soviet Union, were marred by a boycott on behalf of a number of foreign countries, including the United States, in protest of Soviet military presence in Afghanistan.