- Reviewed: 19 March 2020, 13:55 NZDT
- Still current at: 1 December 2020
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New Zealand doesn’t recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. We advise that New Zealanders do not travel to Crimea due to the uncertain security situation. See our Ukraine travel advice for details.
There have been confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Russia.
Local authorities in countries and territories with confirmed cases of COVID-19 may impose containment measures including travel restrictions and quarantine requirements to prevent the spread of the virus.
Such measures may be imposed at short notice and specific details may change rapidly, including where and to whom they apply to and for how long. All travellers should stay informed of measures being taken by authorities in the areas they are travelling to. We recommend that all travellers consult the official website or the nearest embassy or consulate of your country or territory of destination to find out about any border controls and other measures that may apply to you.
For information on countries and territories which have COVID-19 related border restrictions affecting foreign nationals, including travellers in transit, please check the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website before you travel. IATA provides a comprehensive list of all countries and territories that have imposed COVID-19 related border restrictions and is being continually updated.
As part of its response to managing the COVID-19 outbreak, the New Zealand Government has some temporary travel restrictions in place in New Zealand. Please refer to the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for up to date information.
There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Russia. Terrorist attacks have occurred in recent years, including in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
On 27 December 2017, a bomb exploded in a supermarket in St Petersburg, injuring thirteen people.
On 3 April 2017, an explosion occurred on a train carriage travelling between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut metro stations in central St Petersburg. At least 9 people were killed and more than 20 injured.
The threat is particularly high in the North Caucasian Federal District, where the security situation remains unstable. Attacks occur on a regular basis against local and federal forces. New Zealanders should be aware that any increase in violence in the North Caucasian Federal District is likely to increase the possibility of terrorism in other parts of Russia. Foreigners have been kidnapped or killed.
Terrorist groups continue to make threats to conduct attacks in Russia. Russian authorities maintain increased security measures as a precaution around the country, including at tourist sites and transport hubs. The Russian authorities have disrupted a number of terror plots.
Previous terrorist attacks in Russia have targeted transport infrastructure, including airports, buses, trains and Metro systems. Further attacks are likely and could occur anywhere in Russia, at any time.
New Zealanders in Russia are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities and exercising a high degree of vigilance in public places.
Racist attacks by white supremacist or ultra-nationalist groups do occur in Russia. People who are non-European in appearance are more likely to be targeted, including in Moscow and St Petersburg.
Tourists have been targeted for assault and robbery in the past and petty crime, such as pickpocketing and distraction theft, also occurs in cities. Only use registered taxis as some official looking taxis can be unlicensed, and foreigners have been assaulted and robbed. Book taxis in advance either by phone or through your accommodation provider. There have also been reports of travellers being robbed by individuals posing as police officers. If approached by police, ask to see identification before handing over your documentation.
There have been some incidents of drink spiking followed by robbery and assault in Russia. Extra care should be taken to ensure your drink is never left unattended, we recommend against accepting drinks from strangers or recent acquaintances. New Zealanders in Russia are advised to maintain a high level of personal security awareness and take steps to safeguard and secure personal belongings at all times.
Political protests, demonstrations and marches occasionally escalate into violence in Russia. New Zealanders in Russia are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations and marches as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.
General Travel Advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Russia should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.
Foreigners aren't permitted to cross the land border between Russia and Belarus (including by train). If you do wish to travel between Russia and Belarus, New Zealanders are advised to do so by air, to avoid any immigration issues. Trains between Russia and other European countries often transit through Belarus, so check the train's route before purchasing any rail tickets.
It is a legal requirement to carry your passport with you at all times, as a photocopy will not be sufficient. Failure to produce this could result in a fine or detainment.
Visa restrictions are strictly enforced in Russia. Staying beyond the validity of your visa is seen as a serious issue by Russian authorities, and can result in detainment, fines, deportation or bans from re-entry into Russia. If you overstay your visa, you will be turned back at the border, and not be able to depart Russia until your status is regularised.
If you're staying in Russia for more than 7 working days, you must register with the local branch of the Migration Office of Russian Internal Affairs. Most (but not all) hotels will carry out the registration process on behalf of guests, but it is up to the visitors themselves to ensure this is done.
New Zealanders in Russia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The New Zealand Embassy Moscow, Russian Federation
Street Address 3 Prechistenskaya Naberezhnaya, Moscow 119034, Russian Federation Telephone +7 495 956 3579 Alternate Telephone +7 495 956 3580 Fax +7 495 956 3583 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/russia Hours Mon - Fri 0900 - 1230, 1330 - 1730 hrs
New Zealand Honorary Consulate Vladivostok, Russian Federation
Street Address 48/2 Stanukovitcha St, Cottage 10, Vladivostok, 690003, Russian Federation Telephone +7 4232 512 362/365 Fax +7 4232 513 222 Email email@example.com
See our regional advice for Europe
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New Zealand Embassy Russian Federation
3 Prechistenskaya Naberezhnaya, Moscow 119034, Russian Federation
Telephone: +7 495 956 3579
Alternate Telephone: +7 495 956 3580
Fax: +7 495 956 3583
Hours: Mon - Fri 0900 - 1230, 1330 - 1730 hrs