Russian officials have banned a Norwegian journalist from entering the country for the next five years. The Barents Observer, a website based in Norway, says the Federal Security Service told editor Thomas Nielsen that he’s been declared “undesirable” in Russia, despite a valid multi-entry journalist visa.
“I was told it was necessary to deny me access to Russia for the purpose of state security. The officers could not elaborate further and it was obvious the decision was made somewhere else,” said Nilsen.
The journalist was traveling with a delegation from the Danish Parliament’s Committee of Foreign Affairs, a trip that is reportedly meant to mark “a new and more conciliatory Danish approach towards Russia,” according to Nielsen's website.
The Barents Observer, which is published in Russian and English, says this isn’t the first time Russian officials have tried to “close it down.” Two years ago, Russia’s Federal Security Service allegedly “exerted pressure” against the Norwegian government to crack down on the website, its editors say.