Russia orders Austrian journalist to leave in response to Austria expelling Tass journalist

MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said it has rescinded the accreditation of a correspondent for Austria’s public broadcaster ORF and told her to leave the country in response to Austria’s expulsion of a journalist for Russian state news agency Tass. 

The ministry said in a statement that Maria Knips-Witting was ordered to hand over her accreditation and instructed to leave “in the near future.” Knips-Witting had been based in Moscow since January, according to ORF’s website. 

The order was in response to Austria’s removal of Tass correspondent Ivan Popov’s accreditation six weeks ago, the ministry said. 

It was the latest action against foreign journalists in Russia. 

Wall Street Journal correspondent Evan Gershkovich was arrested nearly 15 months ago on charges of espionage and remains in jail awaiting trial. U.S.-Russian journalist Alsu Kurmasheva was taken into custody in October 2023 for failing to register as a “foreign agent.” 

Eva Hartog, a Dutch journalist working for Politico, was denied a renewal of her visa in August 2023. In March, Xavier Colas of Spanish newspaper El Mundo said he was forced to leave the country when authorities denied him a new visa.

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