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Russian Officials Face Enhanced Travel Restrictions Amid Intelligence Leak Fears – VisaGuide.News

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The Kremlin is tightening travel rules for officials due to fears that foreign countries may gain access to Russia.

According to Reuters, the Federal Security Service (FSB) is pushing ministries’ employees to stay in Russia and avoid visiting even countries that have not imposed sanctions against Moscow, VisaGuide.World reports.

You can’t go anywhere at all, not even to Uzbekistan or Belarus for the May holidays. You can go only if you have permission.

Source

The reason for this isolation of Russian government working employees emerges due to fears that Russian officials can be forced to reveal secrets that impact public security, as the sources point out. If not forced, the authorities are afraid that their employees can be offered protection deals in exchange for confidential information such as state secrets.

The notion of “state secret” includes many acts, and its definition has only broadened since the war in Ukraine. A state secret can be information that does not include only military but also nuclear or security intelligence, data, production and consumption of natural resources, economic policies, and scientific findings among others.

An official said that the detention of Dmitry Ovsyannikov, the former governor of Sevastopol in Crimea, which happened this January in London, has only prompted stricter rules.

Russia Doesn’t Trust ‘Friendly Countries” When It Comes to National Security

Travelling to Russia’s so-called ‘friendly countries’ which mainly consists of countries that have not imposed sanctions on the country, depends on the state bodies. The two houses of Russia’s parliament can decide on cases individually, with those working in the presidential administration more likely to be allowed to travel.

A source told Reuters that staff at Russia’s State Duma lower house are not allowed to travel abroad at all, with all requests being denied.

The friendly countries list consists of Cuba, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and some former Soviet states.

Aggravated Relations With the West Cause Thousands of Diplomats to Be Expelled

As of February 2024, when Russia attacked Ukraine, the number of Russian diplomats across the world being expelled has increased.

Data by Statista reveals that the number of Russian diplomats expelled was higher in the United States, United Kingdom and Czechia before 2021, indicating the pre-war in Ukraine period.

However, since the war occurred, Bulgaria has expelled most Russian diplomats in the EU (90), followed by Poland (53) and Germany (51).

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