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Expelled journalist back in Russia

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Guardian journalist Luke Harding has returned to Russia

Guardian journalist Luke Harding has returned to Russia

Guardian journalist Luke Harding has returned to Russia

A British journalist whose expulsion from Russia caused a diplomatic spat has returned to Moscow.

Guardian correspondent Luke Harding was deported on arrival at the same airport earlier this month despite having a valid visa.

The journalist was returning from London where he had been working on the WikiLeaks cables.

A Guardian News & Media spokesman said it was not clear if he was now being allowed back indefinitely or would be expelled when his press card runs out.

He was apparently given back the card on arrival at the airport with the words: "You forgot this."

The spokesman said: "Luke Harding, the Guardian's Moscow correspondent, has returned to Moscow after the Russian authorities reversed their earlier decision to refuse him entry on February 5.

"Luke's press card - which expires on May 31 - was returned to him at Moscow airport on February 12.

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"Luke was first informed that his accreditation would be withdrawn in November last year and he was told to leave the country by the end of December.

"After protests from the British Government, the Russian foreign ministry extended his permission to stay until the end of May 2011.

"It is still not clear whether Luke is being allowed in indefinitely or is still being expelled in 15 weeks' time. The Guardian is seeking urgent clarification on this."


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