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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Russia warns citizens about travel to Mexico

The Central American nation has allegedly refused entry to hundreds of Russians, fearing that they will cross the US border illegally

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has warned Russian citizens to calculate the risk involved in traveling to Mexico after the authorities in the Central American nation began refusing entry to more Russian travelers.

Early last year, Russia’s ambassador to Mexico, Andrey Troyanovsky, said that there had been an increase in the number of Russians being denied entry to Mexico. Troyanovsky suggested at the time that the increase may be linked to Mexican authorities attempting to reduce the number of migrants coming to their country in order to enter the US illegally.

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“Mexican officials are working to resolve the issue,” Zakharova told reporters at a briefing on Wednesday. However, “we recommend that Russian citizens take into account the existing risks when planning trips to Mexico,” she added.

Mexico has not sanctioned Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, and the country’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has repeatedly called for dialogue between Moscow and Kiev. Last year, Lopez Obrador defended his decision to invite a Russian military band to a parade marking Mexico’s independence day, stating that “we have relations with all countries in the world and we invite everyone.”

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Turkish Airlines has prevented around 1,000 Russian travelers from flying to Mexico and other Latin American destinations via Türkiye since January, Reuters reported last month. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov accused the US of pressuring the airline into denying passage to the Russians, as did multiple industry sources, who told the news agency that Washington was trying to reduce the number of Russians illegally entering the US.

Some 81,913 Russian citizens have illegally entered the US since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, according to Customs and Border Protection data. This number is just a fraction of the roughly 8 million illegal immigrants caught entering the country in the same period, according to government data cited by Republican politicians.