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Kosovo expels Russian, Ukrainian journalists

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 17 September 2016
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kosovo expels Russian, Ukrainian journalists, 17 September 2016, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/58189db313.html [accessed 23 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

September 17, 2016

Kosovo police said they expelled two journalists on September 16, a Russian and a Ukrainian, who did not have entry visas.

They "had neither visas nor entry stamps for the Republic of Kosovo," a police press release said, adding that the reporters had been escorted to a northern border crossing with Serbia.

Police mentioned only the initials of the journalists. Press reports said they were Russian reporter Oksana Sazonova and her Ukrainian colleague, cameraman Sergei Belous.

Both were working for Russian media outlets in Belgrade.

They were detained on September 15 in southern Kosovo on suspicion of illegally entering the country and were taken to Pristina, where they were held in a center for foreigners before their expulsion.

Sazonova and Belous were reportedly working on a documentary about Serbian Orthodox churches in Kosovo.

They were also fined 200 euros each and banned from re-entering Kosovo for the next five years.

Kosovo applies a visa regime to Russia and all other countries that oppose its independence from Serbia, which it unilaterally declared in 2008.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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