The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), which represents journalists from 146 countries, has initiated the expulsion of Russia's Union of Journalists from its ranks, Reuters reported Tuesday.
The IFJ announced its decision to expel the Russian union after journalist unions from Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland threatened to withdraw from the federation in protest at what they termed the IFJ’s "corruptive activity."
The four countries have accused the IFJ of allowing journalists working for Russia’s state media in Ukraine to remain among its members, despite the Russian Union of Journalists setting up new offices in the four partially occupied Ukrainian territories that Moscow claims to have annexed during the war to date, the Finnish union said.
The IFJ rejected the accusations, calling them "false, defamatory and damaging," despite the head of the Russian Union of Journalists Vladimir Solovyov openly admitting to opening new offices in annexed regions of Ukraine.
Solovyov said that Ukrainian journalists "supported by the Scandinavians and the Baltic States" were behind the decision to expel the Russian Union of Journalists from the IFJ, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
Solovyov said that it was “impossible to expel a Russian union for this” under the organization's charter.
According to Solovyov, the Russian Union of Journalists has not yet been officially informed of the expulsion and no official announcement had been made on the IFJ’s website as of Tuesday afternoon.