The Biden Administration has issued a strong caution to Americans regarding the worsening circumstances in Russia. In a travel advisory released on Sunday, the State Department emphasized that U.S. citizens should not visit the country and those currently there should depart immediately. The caution was based on Russia’s unexpected invasion of Ukraine, the likelihood of harassment and arrest by Russian security officials, the inconsistent application of local laws, limited air travel options, and the risk of terrorism.
Biden Administration Issues New Security Warning About Russia https://t.co/Ml9zN4Y4jA
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The U.S. Mission Russia stated that their diplomatic personnel face “significant restrictions” in their ability to aid U.S. citizens. Additionally, they warned that transportation options for Americans trying to leave Russia may “abruptly become even more scarce.” The State Department also cautioned that Russia may not recognize the U.S. citizenship of dual nationals, restrict their access to U.S. consular services, force them into mobilization, prevent them from leaving Russia, or conscript them into military service.
Americans attempting to exit Russia may encounter further difficulties as “U.S. credit and debit cards are no longer functional in Russia, and opportunities for electronic transfer of funds from the United States are very limited” due to American sanctions on Russian financial institutions. Those U.S. citizens who still decide to visit Russia are advised to make backup plans that do “not depend on U.S. government support” and warned that they may face “interrogation without reason, threats from Russian officials, harassment, abuse, and extortion” from Russian police and government agents.
The cautionary statement was released as President Joe Biden is set to travel to Poland ahead of the one-year commemoration of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and as his administration has warned that tensions may escalate to a “more intense” level this spring. The Biden Administration has emphasized the gravity of the situation in Russia and is strongly advising Americans to exercise caution when deciding to visit the country.
The State Department is advising Americans to take extra precautions when traveling to Russia, including making sure to have a contingency plan in place in case of an emergency and to not rely on U.S. government assistance if needed. They are also warning U.S. citizens already in Russia to leave immediately due to the potential for harassment, mistreatment, and extortion from Russian officials. The Biden Administration is urging Americans to heed their warnings and take extra caution when considering travel to Russia.
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