Russia revokes Dutch correspondent's residency permit
The Russian authorities withdrew the residency permit of Tom Vennink, a correspondent for the Volkskrant in Moscow, with immediate effect. According to the newspaper, this was because of "administrative violations." Vennink is not allowed to enter Russia until January 2025, according to the Volkskrant.
On Monday, the correspondent learned that he had to leave the country within three days because of violations a few years ago, the newspaper wrote. In November 2019, for example, he was fined for not communicating his residence address in Moscow to the authorities in time. In January 2020, he was fined after he visited the Chukotka province without asking permission.
It is a mystery to editor-in-chief Pieter Klok why the Russian government took this step now, he said to the newspaper. "In previous years, such administrative violations were never an obstacle to extending the residence permit." According to the Volkskrant, the authorities did not explain why they "suddenly used the old violations as grounds for deportation."
Thomas Bruning, Secretary of the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ), believes that Russia sent out a worrying signal with the measure against Vennink. "After all, it seems that this happened for political reasons," Bruning said. The NVJ secretary said that he wants to discuss with the Volkskrant's editors-in-chief and Vennink what they can do to ensure that the correspondent can resume his work in Russia.
When asked, caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Knapen expressed his deep regret that the correspondent had been expelled from the country. "Press freedom is a great asset, and we are committed to ensuring that journalists can continue to do their work," said Knapen. The Ministry is in contact with the Volkskrant and has contacted Moscow about the case in various ways. "Our ambassador in Moscow had asked for clarification. We also discussed the matter with the Russian ambassador in The Hague. We received the answer that the correspondent's visa cannot be extended for administrative reasons."
Reporting by ANP