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Russian journalist insists he is no spy

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 27.11.2014 08:39
A Russian journalist whose Polish residence permit may be withdrawn has claimed he has no ties with his country's secret services and is calling for documents in the investigation to be declassified.
Leonid Sviridov. Photo: PAP/Leszek SzymanskiLeonid Sviridov. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymanski
Leonid Sviridov. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymanski

Leonid Sviridov has told Polish journalists that he is prepared to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

''This is a tragic situation for me,'' he said, adding that he has lived in Poland for several years.

''I am going to defend myself.''

Sviridov was the third man to come under suspicion in a spy affair that went public in October.

Two Polish citizens have already been arrested in the affair, one an army officer, the other a lawyer.

Tit-for-tat deportations of employees at the Russian Embassy in Warsaw and the Polish Embassy in Moscow followed in November.

However, Sviridov says that he has been caught in an affair that he has no connection with.

''This is a political issue,'' he said.

Sviridov went to the Department for Foreigners at the Provincial Office in Warsaw on Wednesday in a bid to clarify if he had any room for manoeuvre.

However, according to the journalist, he found that his file had ''nothing save for one document that says that everything is confidential.

''I want to declassify the case, to see what's there,'' he said.

Both Poland's Internal Security Agency (ABW) and the foreign ministry have declined to comment on the case. Sviridov has already had his journalist's accreditation struck off.

Putin: Poland and Russia should raise their relationship to a new heights

Meanwhile, the new Polish Ambassador to Moscow, Katarzyna Pelczynska–Nalecz, presented her credentials to Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

In a speech Putin claimed that there is a solution to the current turmoil between the two countries.

Poland and Russia should raise their relationship to new levels, and any problem can be solved if guided by respect and pragmatism,” the Russian leader said.

Until recently, Pełczynska–Nalecz was Poland's deputy minister of foreign affairs. (nh/rg)

Source: IAR/PAP

tags: Russia, spying
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