Following the brouhaha over Guardian Moscow correspondent Luke Harding’s deportation from Russia (and subsequent overtures of friendship from the country and explanations that it was all a big mistake), the Moscow Times takes a sharp look at some of the likely reasons behind Russia’s actions. (Other than the explanation from a spokesman for Russia’s foreign ministry that “This is a technical matter and I do not think that it deserves so much commotion”).
The piece also looks at some of the other cases of foreign journalists being refused entry to the country, more than 40 between 2000 and 2007 according to the Moscow-based Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.
When Harding was denied entry after trying to pass through passport control with a valid visa, an airport security official told him, “For you, Russia is closed.”
Very well put. Russia truly is a closed society — and not only for Harding.