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Russia expels Austrian journalist

Moscow has retaliated after a correspondent for TASS was ordered to leave Vienna

By RT International

Russia has revoked the accreditation of Austrian journalist Maria Knips-Witting – from state-broadcaster ORF – and ordered her to leave the country. The move is a “reciprocal measure” in response to Vienna’s decision to expel a Russian journalist, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said on Monday.

Austria ordered TASS correspondent Ivan Popov to leave at the end of April and gave him two weeks to go home. In May, Moscow summoned the Austrian ambassador and warned that Russia would retaliate unless Vienna “revised its decision.”

“Despite the Russian protest, Austria had implemented its initiative, and, on June 7, Popov was forced to leave Vienna,” the Foreign Ministry said. In response, Knips-Witting was ordered on Monday to “hand over her accreditation cards and leave the territory of the Russian Federation in the near future.”

“If Vienna continues the practice of discrimination against Russian journalists, an appropriate reaction will immediately follow in relation to Austrian journalists,” the Foreign Ministry warned. It added that Moscow is ready to restore the accreditation of ORF reporters once Austria “creates conditions for the work of the Russian media” and allows TASS back into the country.

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