Russia has told a BBC journalist working in Russia to leave the country by the end of the month in what it described as a “symbolic deportation”.
In a sign of further tensions between the two nations, Russian state media reported that Sarah Rainsford, one of the broadcaster’s two English-language Moscow correspondents, will be expelled from the country.
Authorities have decided not to renew her accreditation to work in Moscow beyond the end of the month, when her existing visa expires.
TV channel Rossiya-24 said the move came in response to the UK’s refusal to renew or issue visas to Russian journalists working in Britain.
“Sarah Rainsford is going home. According to our experts, this correspondent of Moscow’s BBC bureau will not have her visa extended because Britain, in the media sphere, has crossed all our red lines,” Rossiya-24 said.
“The expulsion of Sarah Rainsford is our symmetrical response,” it added.
State media cited the UK’s treatment of state-backed Russian broadcaster RT and of online state news outlet Sputnik, saying neither could get accredited in Britain to cover international events.
In 2019 media regulator fined RT £200,000 for breaches of impartiality rules in its programming, including several related to the Salisbury poisonings.
The BBC declined to comment on the move.