Warning to travellers after UK expels Russian diplomats

The UK government has issued a warning to travellers from the UK to Russia, following the expelling of Russian diplomats amid growing political tension.

View of Westminster from Thames
Britons travelling to Russia were warned on Wednesday to “remain vigilant” in case of a hostile reaction to Prime Minister Theresa May’s decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats from the UK within the week.

Travel advice amid growing political tension

In revised travel advice from the Foreign Office, Britons visiting Russia either on business or pleasure were warned of the possibility of “anti-British sentiment or harassment” amid growing political tension between the London and Moscow regimes.Mrs May ordered the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats since the Cold War in response to the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last week, which the prime minister branded “an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom”.

Theresa May addresses the House of Commons

Addressing the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon, Mrs May also announced the suspension of high-level contacts with Russia, including a boycott of this summer’s World Cup by government ministers and members of the royal family, and said Russian state assets would be frozen “wherever we have the evidence that they may be used to threaten the life or property of UK nationals or residents”.She told MPs, “There is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian state was culpable for the attempted murder of Mr Skripal and his daughter – and for threatening the lives of other British citizens in Salisbury, including Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey. This represents an unlawful use of force by the Russian state against the United Kingdom.“Led by the National Crime Agency, we will continue to bring all the capabilities of UK law enforcement to bear against serious criminals and corrupt elites. There is no place for these people – or their money – in our country.”

Reaction from Russia

Mrs May claimed the expulsions of the diplomats, whom she described as “undeclared intelligence officers”, would “fundamentally degrade Russian intelligence capability in the UK for years to come”. She added, “If they seek to rebuild it, we will prevent them from doing so.”Russia rejected the UK government’s action as “unacceptable, unjustified and short-sighted”. A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said, “Moscow won’t accept absolutely unfounded accusations against it, which are not substantiated by any evidence, and won’t accept the language of ultimatum.”However, Mrs May said Russia had failed to provide a “credible” explanation as to how the Novichok nerve agent, which was exclusively developed and produced in Russia, came to be used in the attack on the Skripals, who remain in critical condition in hospital.For related news and features, visit our Immigration section.  Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory

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