Foreign Ministry withdraws Russian’s press accreditation
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has revoked its official accreditation of journalist Leonid Sviridov, a correspondent for Russian media in Warsaw.
It is not known why Sviridov, who is a correspondent for the Moscow-based RIA Novosti agency, had his accreditation revoked, with Poland’s Foreign Ministry only confirming the event and stating that it “will not give any further comment”.
However, Polish Radio’s IAR news agency has established that although there was no hard evidence that the journalist could be a spy working for the Russian government, according to IAR’s informants Sviridov’s activities “went beyond his official obligations as a journalist”.
According to Russia Today, a Kremlin-controlled TV station, Sviridov was called to the ministry where he was alleged to have been given notice of his accreditation’s removal.
The journalist later confirmed this information with Polish Radio, adding that even though he has had his accreditation revoked, he plans on staying in Poland.
“I can’t use the official title of accredited journalist to the Polish MFA, but […] like any journalist I can write what I want and where I want under my name or a pseudonym, noone can stop me from my freedom of speech,” he told Polish Radio.
Following the ministry’s decision, Dmitry Kiselyov, Director General of the international “Rossiya Segodnya” agency petitioned Warsaw to clarify the decision, saying that the move may be interpreted as “obstructing the media”.
This is not Sviridov’s first run-in with the authorities. In 2006, the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs also revoked his accreditation, with local media claiming that he was a Russian spy. (jb)