17:34 GMT +3 hours23 November 2014
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Expelled Guardian journalist back in Moscow

Russia
(updated 18:27 28.10.2014)
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The Guardian's Moscow correspondent Luke Harding who was expelled from Russia a week ago, returned to Moscow on Saturday, head of the Foreign Press Association of Moscow Adib Al Sayed said.

The Guardian's Moscow correspondent Luke Harding who was expelled from Russia a week ago, returned to Moscow on Saturday, head of the Foreign Press Association of Moscow Adib Al Sayed said.

Harding, 42, was refused reentry to Russia at Moscow's Domodedovo airport on February 5 after being absent from the country for two months. He was put on a plane back to Britain, and his visa, valid until May 31, 2011, was annulled.

Harding  obtained a new visa at the Russian embassy in London, and his new press accreditation is ready, Al Sayed said.

A RIA Novosti source in a Russian law enforcement agency said earlier that Harding was blacklisted as a person whose presence in the country was "undesirable."

Harding was responsible for reporting on U.S. diplomatic cables leaked to The Guardian by WikiLeaks, including allegations that Russia under the rule of Vladimir Putin has become a "virtual mafia state".

Harding  wrote on his Twitter blog late on Monday: "The Russians have been unhappy with my reporting for a while. But it seems WikiLeaks may have been the final straw."

Harding told RIA Novosti on Tuesday that the Russian Foreign Ministry's explanations were groundless.

"This is a heavy-handed attempt to get journalists to censor themselves and to prevent impartial coverage of what is happening in Russia," press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.

MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti)