Russia forces out Dutch journalist working in Moscow for Politico, Groene Amsterdammer

August 17, 2023  –MOSCOW – Russia has effectively told Dutch journalism correspondent Eva Hartog to leave the country. The Russian Foreign Ministry informed her that her visa would not be extended and she had to leave the country within six days, Hartog wrote in a column in De Groene Amsterdammer. 

Hartog has been reporting from Moscow for ten years, where she is editor-in-chief of the Moscow Times. She is also a long-time correspondent for Politico Europe, which describes her as “a Dutch citizen with Russian roots,” and writes for De Groene Amsterdammer. 

According to Hartog, the Russian Ministry did not tell her why her visa extension was rejected, only saying that the “relevant authorities” made the decision. 

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February last year, foreign journalists in the country have been required to reapply for their visas every three months instead of once a year. According to Politico, Hartog is the first known foreign journalist to be kicked out by Russia since the start of the war. Though, the Russian authorities did imprison Evan Gershkovich – correspondent for the Wall Street Journal – on espionage charges in March. 

“You can and must count your blessings,” Hartog said in her column. “A friend and colleague, Evan Gershkovich, is in prison for espionage, and Russians are being charged with high treason in closed cases. In the coming weeks, I expect to hear that it could have been so much worse. And that independent journalism is impossible in Russia, despite dozens of colleagues who still do fantastic work there. But in the low expectations lies the normalization of the abnormal. And so I say: I am unpleasantly surprised.” 

Politico Europe’s editor-in-chief Jamil Anderlini said they were “extremely disappointed” by Russia’s expulsion of Hartog. “We hope that Eva and Politico will return to Moscow in the near future to continue our factual and nonpartisan coverage of Russian politics,” Anderlini said. “Thankfully, Eva is safe and was able to leave Russia – however, Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal remains unjustly imprisoned for committing fair and accurate journalism and should be released immediately.” 

Hartog isn’t the first Dutch journalist to be expelled from Russia. In 2021, the Russian authorities withdrew the residency permit of Tom Vennink, the Volkskrant’s correspondent in Moscow. Russia accused him of “administrative violations.” 

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