Expelled US reporter 'grossly violated' Russian law: ministry

14th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

Russia said on Tuesday it expelled US reporter and scholar David Satter because he had "grossly violated" visa entry rules in a case that threatens to further chill ties between the Cold War rivals.

The former Financial Times and Wall Street Journal correspondent who has published three books on Russia and the former Soviet Union said he was barred from Moscow without an explanation late last year.

Satter told AFP he had travelled on December 5 to the Ukrainian capital Kiev to report on the mass pro-EU protests gripping the former Soviet state.

The 66-year-old said he was then told on December 25 that his application for a new visa to Russia had been rejected on the grounds that his presence was "undesirable."

But the Russian foreign ministry said Satter was well aware that he had violated migration rules.

"He was denied a multi-entry visa on the grounds that he grossly violated Russian migration law," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said Satter entered Russia on November 21 and was then required to "immediately" report to the Federal Migration Service (UFMS) in order to receive his multi-entry correspondent's visa.

"Despite this, D. A. Satter only appeared at the UFMS on November 26, 2013, when he was denied the multi-entry visa (on the rule violation grounds)," the foreign ministry said.

It added that a Moscow district court on November 29 found him guilty of an administrative violation and ordered him expelled from the country.

"He admitted his guilt," the Russian statement said.

© 2014 AFP

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