US State Department reports possible harassment of US citizens in Russia

The US State Department has reported the possibility of harassment of US citizens by Russian government security officials and has warned its nationals to leave Russia as soon as possible.

In a travel advisory, the US State Department has raised the possibility that the Russian government could “attack and detain” US citizens, as well as carry out indiscriminate local law enforcement operations.

“US citizens, including former and current US government and military personnel, as well as private individuals doing business, visiting or residing in Russia, have been unduly interrogated and threatened by Russian officials and may be subject to harassment, abuse and extortion,” warned he.

US State Department reports possible harassment of US citizens in Russia
US State Department reports possible harassment of US citizens in Russia

To that end, he has reported the arrests of US citizens “on false charges”, denial of “fair and transparent treatment” and the preparation of “secret trials without the production of credible evidence”.

Likewise, the State Department has detailed that Russian officials “may unduly delay US consular assistance to detained US citizens” and that Russian authorities are conducting “questionable” criminal investigations into those involved in religious activities.

“Russian security services are increasing the arbitrary use of local laws to target foreign and international organizations they deem ‘undesirable,’ and US citizens should avoid traveling to Russia to work or volunteer with NGOs,” he warned the state department.

To that end, he has claimed that Russia “imposes special restrictions on persons with dual nationality,” even denying them recognition of US citizenship and access to consular assistance, and preventing them from leaving Russia.

“US citizens should note that US credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia and the ability to electronically transfer funds from the United States is severely limited due to the sanctions imposed on Russian banks. There are reports of cash shortages in Russia, ”also detailed in the message.

Due to the limited services offered by the US Embassy in Moscow, the State Department has asked residents and nationals “to make arrangements as soon as possible” to leave the country for “the limited opportunities of commercial flights,” adding added that “the situation continues across the border is dangerous and unpredictable.”

“Given the ongoing armed conflict, US citizens are strongly discouraged from traveling overland from Russia to Ukraine. In addition, there is potential for harassment of foreigners across Russia, including through regulations specifically targeting foreigners.”

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