International federation forced to suspend Russian journalists union over Ukraine

Russian journalists - Image Irina Boldina /

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has been forced to suspend its Russian members after its Scandinavian members threatened to resign their membership.

Russian state news agency TASS reported on Wednesday, February 22 that the IFJ had written to the Union of Journalists of Russia (WLN) informing it of the decision.

Vladimir Solovyov, head of WLN Vladimir Solovyov said that the letter written by the Secretary General of the IFJ, Anthony Bellanger, informed them that their membership had been suspended.

It is understood that the process of suspending the WLN from the IFJ, which was established in 1926, began on January 31. A statement from the organisation at the time said that the process had been started following representation from Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.

A later statement issued by the IFJ said that among the reasons for the organisation´s suspension was the opening of branch offices in the occupied Ukrainian territories of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, as well as the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

The IFJ, which represents some 600,000 journalists from across the world, protects the social and professional rights of journalists in more than 140 countries. Russia is said to have been one of the larger members of the organisation.

It is not known what impact the suspension of the Russian journalists union will have on the international federation nor its impact on free speech and honest news reporting.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at