Russia to expel BBC journalist amid tensions with UK

Russia to expel BBC journalist amid tensions with UK
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A BBC journalist is about to be expeled from Russia amid growing tensions between Moscow and London.

State television station Rossiya 24 reported Thursday that BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford would be required to leave by the end of this month, as Russia has refused to renew her visa, according to The Associated Press.

The Foreign Ministry’s decision not to extend Rainsford’s visa comes as British officials have decided against renewing or granting visas to Russian journalists, the AP reported.

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Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova argued that London had failed to heed “repeated Foreign Ministry warnings that it will take corresponding measures.”

“We have made regular statements, urging the British to end persecution of Russian journalists,” she said, according to the AP.

The two countries have had a strained relationship since the 2018 poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England.

Russia has denied any involvement in the attack, which left Skripal and his daughter gravely ill.

Tensions were further aggravated in June, when Russia said one of its warplanes dropped bombs in the path of the British destroyer HMS Defender and fired warning shots as the vessel neared Ukraine. Britain at the time said its ship was sailing in Ukrainian waters and was not fired upon, the AP reported.