Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Russian Federation

  • Reviewed: 20 March 2018, 13:00 NZDT
  • Still current at: 23 September 2018

Do not travel

Do not travel to Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachai-Cherkessia, Republic of North Ossetia and the south-east parts of Stavropol Krai in the North Caucasian Federal District. Terrorism, kidnapping and military activity in these areas presents a significant risk to security.

Do not travel within 10 kilometres of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts due to ongoing violent conflict and the volatile security situation.

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution elsewhere in Russia due to the threat of terrorism and crime. 

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Terrorism
There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Russia. Terrorist attacks have occurred in recent years, including in Moscow.

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.

Terrorist groups, including those based in Syria, 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.

Violent Crime
Racist attacks by skinhead 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. 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 and 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.

Civil Unrest
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.

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'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.

New Zealand doesn’t recognise Crimea as being part of Russia. See the Ukraine travel advice page for details.

New Zealanders in Russia are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  

Travel tips


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 nzembmoscow@mft.net.nz 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 martintate@xtra.co.nz

See our regional advice for Europe

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New Zealand Embassy 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: nzembmoscow@mft.net.nz

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/russia

Hours: Mon - Fri 0900 - 1230, 1330 - 1730 hrs

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