Russia “expels” Swedish TV journalist

The Swedish government on Tuesday demanded an explanation from Russia as to why a Swedish television journalist based in Moscow had been denied a visa extension, Foreign Minister Laila Freivalds said.

“We met with a representative of the embassy to express our astonishment,” Freivalds told AFP after Bert Sundström, Moscow correspondent for public TV channel SVT, was denied a renewal of his visa.

“We have requested a review of the decision,” said Freivalds, who met the Russian charge d’affaires Tuesday morning, adding that “in any case, we need an explanation.”

“We have no knowledge of anything the journalist might have done to be denied the right to continue his work in Russia,” Freivalds said.

SVT said its correspondent “has, to all intents and purposes, been expelled” without any explanation from the Russian authorities.

“This is very serious and unacceptable,” SVT director-general Christina Jutterström told AFP.

Jutterström said she did not want to speculate on the Russian authorities’ motives and said that the work of Sundström, who was posted to Moscow three years ago, had been “remarkable.”

“I hope that we will get a good answer, since we have good relations with Russia and a good level of cooperation,” Freivalds said.


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