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Russian Reporter Forced Out Of Poland On Spying Charges

A Russian journalist who came under suspicion of espionage was forced to leave Poland on December 12 though he protested that he never was presented with specific charges against him.

Leonid Sviridov, who writes for RIA Novosti, part of the pro-Kremlin Rossiya Segodnya news service, told the Associated Press on December 10 that he had to leave Warsaw after running out of legal options for staying on in Poland, where he has worked as a journalist for years.

The 49-year-old has been fighting the government for 14 months and insists he never acted as an agent for Russia. He says he will fight for the right to return to Poland.

Sviridov said he is appealing the Polish decision that strips him of the right to residency.

The case will go to a Polish court possibly in January. Should that fail, he said he plans to sue Poland at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

His case has played out amid deep tensions between the West and Russia over Moscow's aggressions in Ukraine.

Based on reporting by AP and TASS