The US has issued a warning to its citizens to leave Russia as soon as possible to avoid being wrongfully detained or being drafted to fight in Ukraine.
The State Department has updated its travel advisory, stating that Russia might not recognize dual citizenship between the US and Russia.
The statement that US citizens had already "been threatened and interrogated without cause" was added to the warning.
The updated travel advice has been downplayed by Russian officials.
How many Americans are visiting or residing in Russia is unknown. The number of people who reportedly left the country after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 was in the thousands.
The State Department stated that those who are still in Russia risk "harassment and singling out" in its recently updated travel advisory.
In addition, it warned that dual citizens run the risk of being drafted as part of a larger Russian military mobilization to support operations in Ukraine.
The warning states that Russia "may refuse to recognize dual nationals' US citizenship, refuse to grant them access to US consular assistance, subject them to mobilization, prevent their departure from Russia, and/or conscript them.".
According to the State Department, a number of US citizens, including former and present government employees and members of the private sector, have already been detained, questioned, and subjected to harassment.
The warning states that "Russian security services may fail to inform the US Embassy of the detention of a US citizen and unreasonably delay US consular assistance.". The arbitrary application of local laws by Russian security services to target foreign and international organizations they deem "undesirable" is increasing. ".
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, claimed that the US had previously issued similar warnings "many times" in a statement that was cited by the Russian news agency TASS.
We have heard this before, he said, adding.
When Russian authorities announced a partial mobilization of military reservists in September, the US issued its most recent warning to its citizens to leave.
Any dual US-Russian citizens "are primarily Russian citizens, regardless of what citizenship they have," according to Mr. Peskov.
The State Department has issued "do not travel" recommendations for 18 additional nations, in addition to Russia, including Afghanistan, Syria, Haiti, North Korea, Somalia, Ukraine, and Yemen.