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Journalist Allowed Back to Russia After 4-Year Ban

An investigative reporter barred from entering Russia after publishing an article about government corruption four years ago has been allowed to enter the country again.

The New Times correspondent Natalya Morar, a Moldova native, arrived in Moscow on a flight from Chisinau on Monday and was allowed to pass through the immigration checkpoint.

"We simply bought tickets, calmly went through passport control, sat on the plane, and now we are in Moscow and heading to the office," Morar's husband and The New Times editor Ilya Barabanov told Gazeta.ru. Barabanov said no press conferences or other events were planned.

Morar was denied entry at Domodedovo airport in December 2007 after returning from a trip to Israel. She was told she was on an FSB list prohibiting her entrance to the country under a law providing for the ban of foreigners that pose a threat to the health and safety of Russians.

Morar said she was certain the refusal was connected to an article she wrote alleging the presidential administration had a huge cash fund from which it funded and controlled most of the parties that participated in the December 2007 State Duma elections and naming then-Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Sobyanin and his deputy Vladislav Surkov as the people in control of the money.

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