Russia boots out Dutch journalist

Tom Vennink, Russia correspondent for the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant, has been thrown out of the country by Russian authorities over “administrative violations.”

On Monday, Vennink tried to renew his press accreditation but was notified that his residence permit would be revoked and that he had to leave the country within three days, de Volkskrant reported. Vennink is now barred from entering Russia until January 2025. 

In a statement, the Dutch foreign ministry said that “the Netherlands considers it unacceptable when a journalist is forced to leave a country.”

Russian authorities pointed to two “violations” from 2019 and 2020 as the cause for the journalist’s expulsion. Vennink was issued two fines, one for not registering his address of residence in Moscow in time, and another because he visited Chukotka autonomous province in eastern Russia without permission from the region’s governor. 

Vennink isn’t the first journalist this year to be kicked out of Russia. In August, Sarah Rainsford — Russia correspondent for the BBC — was forced to leave after she was declared a threat to national security by state authorities. In a statement following her expulsion, Rainsford wrote: “Russia … no longer pretends to be a democracy.”

Vennink’s expulsion is another sign of tense Netherlands-Russia relations. In an online press conference held by state-owned press agency Rossiya Segodnya on Monday, Russian Ambassador to the Netherlands Alexander Shulgin said that the relationship between the two countries was “far from good.”

Shulgin blamed what he called the “one-sided” investigation into the shooting down of flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine and a recent legal dispute over whether Crimean precious items that were loaned to a Dutch museum in 2014 should be returned to Russia or Ukraine, de Volkskrant reported.

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