Warning for Russian citizens travelling abroad

Further elaborating on the published warnings for Russian citizens issued by the Foreign Ministry on September 2, 2013, April 10, 2014 and May 22, 2015, we reaffirm that the threat of being detained or arrested at the request of US law enforcement and special services in third countries remains valid.

Despite our permanent calls on Washington to step up normal cooperation between the competent agencies based on the 1999 bilateral Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, US authorities continue to “hunt” for Russian nationals around the world, ignoring the rules of international law and putting pressure on other states. The number of such incidents has exceeded two dozen. The latest example includes the recent extradition of three Russian nationals, namely Maxim Senakh, Alexander Sergeyev and Mikhail Serov, from Finland to the US.

Disregarding everyone, Washington transitioned to the outright abduction of Russian nationals. This was the case with Konstantin Yaroshenko, who was seized in Liberia in 2010 and secretly extradited to the US in violation of Liberia’s national and international law. In July 2014, US agents literally stole Roman Seleznyov from the Maldives and forcedly extradited him to Guam and later to Seattle, where he is still imprisoned.

Russian nationals arrested in this manner suffer the biased attitude of US “justice”. They are being forced, including by direct threats, to admit their guilt, despite the fact that many of the accusations are fabricated. Those who refuse to admit their guilt are sentenced to long prison terms, as happened to the abovementioned Konstantin Yaroshenko and Russian businessman Viktor Bout.

The Foreign Ministry’s institutions abroad have always provided and will continue to provide comprehensive consular and legal assistance to Russians who got into trouble and who seek full observance of their legal rights and interests and the earliest return to Russia. However, in light of the abovementioned circumstances we recommend that Russian citizens who are planning to travel abroad carefully weigh all the risks, especially if there are grounds to assume that US law enforcement agencies have claims against them. This refers mainly to trips to countries that have extradition treaties with the US (the list of such countries is available at the US Department of State website).