British journalist allowed to return to Russia following expulsion

Guardian journalist, Luke Harding, has been allowed to re-enter Russia after his expulsion from Moscow last week. The Russian officials have renewed his foreign journalist’s accreditation and he was able to obtain a single-entry visa on Friday. He returned to Russia the following day. Harding’s expulsion provoked extensive criticism, and British foreign secretary William Hague intervened.  The Russian authorities have claimed that Harding violated regulations which apply to foreign journalists, but Harding has rejected these allegations as pretexts.  Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, arrived in London today on a previously arranged visit.

Guardian journalist expelled from Russia

The Guardian’s Moscow correspondent has been expelled from Russia. Luke Harding attempted to re-enter Russia on the weekend, instead his visa was annulled and he was detained in an airport cell for 45 minutes before being returned to the UK on the next available flight. He was told: “For you Russia is closed“. This is thought to be the first incident of this kind since the cold war ended, the Russians are yet to provide an official explanation. Harding’s removal came after he reported on claims made in leaked US diplomatic cables that Russia had become a “virtual Mafia state” under Vladimir Putin, he also also co-authored Wikileaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy.