Russia's Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning for its citizens traveling to the United States. It says that they should think twice or take necessary precaution before heading abroad because the United States is “hunting” for Russians around the world.
Russia Slams Accusations of Interference in Latin America
“Despite our calls to improve cooperation between the relevant U.S. and Russian authorities... U.S. special services have effectively continued 'hunting' for Russians around the world,” the travel warning noted.
The statement went on to read: “Considering these circumstances, we strongly insist that Russian citizens carefully weigh up all the risks when planning trips abroad," for they may “face a serious threat of arrest by other countries at Washington's request, after which they could be extradited to the United States.”
It noted that over 10 Russians had been arrested in foreign countries with U.S. involvement since the start of 2017, citing at least four Russians detained on U.S. cybercrime charges in Spain, Latvia, and Greece, according to Reuters.
U.S. action against suspected Russian cybercriminals jumped to a record high last year.
The ministry detailed the case of Stanislav Lisov, who was accused of creating a computer virus that targeted financial institution customers, resulting in losses amounting to millions of dollars. Detained in Spain, Lisov was eventually extradited to the United States last year.
It reiterated that once extradited to the United States, Russian citizens would face all forms of bias meted out by the U.S. justice system.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Democratic counterpart, Bob Menendez, sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before he embarked on a six-day Latin American tour. In it, they expressed that they are “increasingly concerned” about Russian influence in Mexico's 2018 presidential election, as well as other elections taking place in the region this year.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajarova, called such accusations “absurd,” saying “A nation close to Latin America is very upset by the rising development of Russia's ties with that region.”
She went on to say “We urge Latin American leaders not to attend to the provocations in that sense, which are only to the detriment of Russia's ties with the aforementioned region, where we maintain extensive ties of cooperation.”