The U.S. State Department is telling any U.S. citizens still in Russian to leave immediately, and all citizens to avoid traveling to Europe due to the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
In a new travel advisory issued on Monday, the State Dept. says that “the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism” makes Russia too dangerous for American citizens.
In addition, U.S. credit and debit cards no longer work in Russia, and sanctions imposed on Russian banks make it extremely difficult to access funds if you are in Russia. There are also limited commercial flights, often unavailable on short notice.
“If you wish to depart Russia, you should make independent arrangements as soon as possible. The U.S. Embassy has severe limitations on its ability to assist U.S. citizens to depart the country and transportation options may suddenly become even more limited,” the warning reads.
Russia was originally added to the Do Not Travel list in February 2022 at the start of the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian military. The advisory has been updated a number of times since then, with this week’s update adding the details about U.S. citizens being stopped and interrogated without notice given to the American embassy.
“U.S. citizens, including former and current U.S. government and military personnel and private citizens engaged in business who are visiting or residing in Russia, have been interrogated without cause and threatened by Russian officials, and may become victims of harassment, mistreatment, and extortion,” the warning says.
In a response to the Russian News Agency this week, Russian Presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that it was nothing new.