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Russia advises against travel to UK because of "unfriendly" visa stance

Published May 13,2022

Russia said on Friday it was recommending its citizens not to travel to Britain, complaining that authorities there were making it "virtually impossible" for Russians to obtain visas.

The Russian Foreign Ministry alleged Russian applications were being delayed because Britain was giving higher priority to Ukrainian refugees. It said Russians were also unable to pay on the British website via Mastercard and Visa, which have both suspended their operations in Russia.

"Taking into account the extremely unfriendly course of the UK towards our country, in order to avoid financial losses and other possible problems, we recommend that Russian citizens refrain, if possible, from travelling to the UK and trying to obtain British visas," it said.

"Until the situation normalises, we will act in the same way with respect to the British."

The British actions were "a politically motivated infringement of the rights of Russian citizens", the ministry said.

The British interior ministry, the Home Office, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Tensions between Moscow and London have ratcheted up in recent weeks, with Britain announcing fresh sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin's financial network on Friday over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday he did not see how there could be a normalisation of relations with Putin following the invasion.