Russia kicks out Austrian reporter

(MENAFN) Russia has revoked the accreditation of Austrian journalist Maria Knips-Witting from the state broadcaster ORF and ordered her to leave the country. This action is a "reciprocal measure" following Vienna's expulsion of Russian journalist Ivan Popov, as announced by the Russian Foreign Ministry on Monday.

In late April, Austria ordered TASS correspondent Popov to leave, giving him two weeks to do so. Despite Moscow's warnings and a summons of the Austrian ambassador in May, Austria proceeded with its decision, leading to Popov's departure on June 7.

In retaliation, Knips-Witting was instructed on Monday to "hand over her accreditation cards and leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the near future." The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that further discriminatory actions against Russian journalists by Vienna would prompt immediate reciprocal measures against Austrian journalists. However, Moscow expressed willingness to restore ORF reporters' accreditation if Austria allows TASS to operate again.

ORF expressed regret over Russia's decision, stating its inability to understand it, and committed to taking all necessary steps to ensure independent and comprehensive reporting from Russia.

The European Union has intensified its crackdown on Russian media since Moscow's military operation in Ukraine began in February 2022, imposing a bloc-wide ban on major outlets like RT and RIA Novosti. Brussels accused Moscow of conducting an "international campaign of media and information manipulation," a claim Russia has condemned as unfounded and discriminatory.



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