“A Danger to the Safety and Security of Russia”

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Novoe Vremya journalist Natalia Morar reports on her blog that she has been “officially designated as a danger to the safety and security of Russia.” Readers will remember that the Moldovan born, permanent Russian resident was refused reentry into Russia in December. According to Kommersant, when she tried to enter Russia through Domodedovo airport, border officers informed her that “her presence in Russia was “undesirable” and they were acting on a directive of the “central apparatus of the FSB.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if this is true. Morar is known for articles detailing corruption within the Russian political elite. She has recently turned her pen to the current “Siloviki War.” In a recent article on that subject she detailed the various factions and infighting between members of Russia’s various security organs over the right to preserve Russia’s “order.” The “Siloviki War” is clearly about a lot of things–power, corruption, and theft. But is also about a long standing fight in Russia between “legality” and “security.” Or to put it clearer, the grand notion that the FSB and other organs should work according to the rule of law and not practice unfettered “gangsterism.” Clearly someone within the clans is talking to Morar and using her pen to wage a PR war against their rivals. Therefore its not surprising that her aticles would piss someone off enough to designate her persona non grata in Russia.

But until now Morar didn’t receive an official explanation why she isn’t allowed back in Russia. She finally got an answer the other day. An official letter from the Russian embassy in Moldova stated that she was barred from Russia under Article 27, Section 1 “On the manner of exiting and entering the Russian Federation.” The article states:

Article 27: Entry into the Russian Federation is denied to a foreign citizen or a person without citizenship in cases if:

It is necessary for providing safety and security of the state, or preserving public order, or the defense of the population’s health.

“This is simply hilarious,” she writes. “Can someone explain to me how a 24 year old female journalist can be called a danger to security of such a strong state like Russia?”

Good question.