Sign up for PM Award Updates!
 
 

Poland revokes Russian reporter’s residency permit

April 29, 2015

Warsaw officials said Wednesday they have decided to revoke the residency permit of Leonid Sviridov, a Russian journalist with the RIA Novosti news agency, following spying allegations.

Poland’s foreign ministry had already rescinded Sviridov’s press accreditation in October at the request of the internal security agency ABW, which suspects him of espionage, according to local media.

Warsaw’s prefect decided to annul the residency permit after a request from the ABW and a careful review of Sviridov’s classified file, according to prefecture spokeswoman Ivetta Bialy.

Sviridov can appeal the decision to the head of the immigration office. If the petition is dismissed, Sviridov will have 30 days to leave Poland, Bialy said.

Polish-Russian relations have been at a record low since Moscow annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine last year.

Formerly under Moscow’s thumb during the Soviet era, Warsaw is a strong supporter of neighbour Ukraine’s pro-Western government.

This week Polish border guards denied entry to members of the Night Wolves, a fiercely nationalist Russian biker club closely linked to President Vladimir Putin.

The bikers had planned a controversial 6,000-kilometre (3,700-mile) ride to Berlin to celebrate the Red Army’s role in victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

Members of the Night Wolves rode down en masse to Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula just after it was annexed and have also fought with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.