Barred British reporter allowed back into Russia

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A British Guardian journalist barred from Russia last week after reporting on leaked US diplomatic cables critical of Russian officials said Sunday he had been able to return.

Authorities turned back Moscow correspondent Luke Harding citing administrative problems linked to his accreditation.

He told AFP by email Sunday that he was back in Moscow. The Foreign Press Association said he returned on Saturday with a new visa and his accreditation was ready.

Harding barred while returning from London where he reported on US cables released by WikiLeaks that included a string of damaging allegations about the links between top Russian officials, oligarchs and organised crime.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Harding had illegally reported from parts of the North Caucasus where Russian troops were conducting so-called counter-terrorist operations.

The Guardian said the incident was believed to be the first removal of a British staff journalist from the country since the end of the Cold War.

© 2011 AFP

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