According to Russian official media, he is currently in Moscow Sarah Rainsfordnack At the end of the month your accreditation expires, you must leave the country. The BBC condemned Russia’s decision not to extend its reporter’s visa as a “direct attack on media freedom”. The channel urged the Russian authorities to review the “expulsion” of Sarah Rainford. Rainford is an experienced foreign correspondent who has previously worked in Havana, Istanbul and Madrid.
State-owned channel Rossiya 24 first reported the decision Thursday night, citing allegations that the British had repeatedly refused to issue visas to Russian journalists and earlier threats that Britain’s media body could revoke its license to state-funded Russian RT. The report also claimed that state-owned RT and Sputnik reporters were not certified for the events. However, the British Embassy in Moscow denied that Russian journalists were discriminated against in the UK and described Rainford’s actual expulsion as “reactionary” and “unjustified”.
Sarah Rainford’s expulsion is a direct attack on media freedom, which we condemn unreservedly. Sarah is an exceptional and courageous journalist. Fluent in Russian, provides independent and in-depth coverage of Russia and the former Soviet Union
– Tell Tim DavyDirector General of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The British Foreign Office described the move as another unjustified step by the Russian authorities.
According to Rainford himself, he got involved in a wider diplomatic and political game:
I wasn’t expecting that to happen. There were clear indications in the Russian media – independent Russian journalists have already had serious problems recently – but the foreign press so far is somehow protected from all this. This is a clear sign that things have changed. This is another really bad sign of the situation in Russia, another step backwards in relations between Russia and the world, as well as a sign that Russia is becoming increasingly closed in on itself.
– Tell On BBC Radio 4 today.
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