Polish authorities have banned RIA NovostiRossiya Segodnya” journalist Leonid Sviridov from entering Poland and all other member states of the Schengen zone until December 2020, says the Russian journalist’s lawyer Yaroslav Helstovsky.

Poland’s Foreign Office has ruled that Leonid Sviridov’s presence in Poland “violates the interests of the Polish state,” says Helstovsky.

Rossiya Segodnya chief editor Margarita Simonyan says Sviridov will challenge the Polish court’s decision via legal representatives in Poland (Sviridov was forced to leave Poland in December 2015).

Poland’s Internal Security Agency revoked Leonid Sviridov’s accreditation as a journalist in October 2014. No reasons were given for the decision.

In December 2015, Sviridov was stripped of his Polish residency. Local media implied it was for espionage by saying Sviridov’s activities “went beyond his duties as a journalist.”

The Czech Republic has also banned Sviridov from working there as a reporter. In 2006, he was accused of spying for Russian intelligence and had his accreditation revoked.