Thursday, June 13

On retaliatory measures in connection with the withdrawal of accreditation of Russian journalists in Austria

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On 30 April, the Austrian authorities revoked the permanent accreditation of TASS correspondent I. Popov, after which he was informed that his registration had been terminated and ordered to leave the country within two weeks. The Austrian authorities did not provide any explanation for such steps.

On 31 May, the Austrian Ambassador was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry and strongly protested against the discriminatory actions against Russian journalists. The head of the diplomatic mission was warned that if Vienna did not reconsider its decision violating the rights of Russian journalists, retaliatory measures would be taken against Austrian correspondents permanently accredited in Russia. On the Russian side, it was emphasised that such a development was not Moscow’s choice, but constituted a forced retaliatory measure.

Despite the Russian demarche, Austria implemented its initiative, and on 7 June I. Popov had to leave Vienna.

In this connection mirror measures were taken against M. Knips-Witting, a journalist of the Moscow bureau of the Austrian Radio and Television (‘ORF’).

On 10 June she was ordered to surrender her accreditation certificates and leave the territory of the Russian Federation as soon as possible.

Should official Vienna continue its practice of discriminating against Russian journalists, an appropriate reaction will follow immediately with regard to Austrian journalists.

In accordance with the principles of media freedom and on the basis of reciprocity, we will be ready to consider the possibility of accreditation of new ORF employees in Russia after the Austrian government creates conditions for the work of Russian media representatives and the full-fledged resumption of the TASS Corps in Vienna.



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