Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Russian Federation

  • Reviewed: 7 October 2022, 15:29 NZDT
  • Still current at: 7 October 2022

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COVID-19

If you are planning international travel at this time, please read our COVID-19 related travel advice here, alongside our destination specific travel advice below.

Do not travel

Do not travel to Russia due to the impacts the armed conflict with Ukraine has had on commercial flight availability and access to financial services.  There is also potential for the security situation to deteriorate with little warning.

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.

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Russian Federation

If you are in Russia, you should leave while limited commercial options are still available.

On 24 February the Russian authorities announced restrictions on domestic flights to a number of airports in southern Russia, with disruption to internal flights to and from Moscow and other cities. Almost all commercial flight routes between Russia and Europe have been cancelled and some other international flight routes out of Russia are also impacted, due to measures taken in response to Russian military action in Ukraine. Check the latest information with your airline or travel provider. 

Some financial services are no longer operational in Russia, including the suspension of international bank card services. Foreign bank cards are not accepted at any shops or ATMs in Russia. Cards issued inside Russia may continue to work in Russia but they will not work outside of Russia. You should be aware that it may not be possible for you to access your funds through Russian banks. Travellers are advised to carry sufficient hard currency on them, including emergency funds, or be prepared with an alternate method of payment, to meet the needs of their travel for the duration of their stay in Russia. Financial services are subject to further disruption at short notice and people should make plans accordingly to ensure they can financially support themselves while in Russia.

On 4 March 2022, Russia’s Parliament passed laws, which severely restrict free speech related to the current situation in Ukraine. The publishing and distribution of information related to Russian armed forces and any military operations can result in fines or jail terms up to 15 years if considered ‘fake news’. Foreign journalists and other media workers may face considerable risks. If you are in Russia, you should not share or publish any information related to current events in Russia and Ukraine that would be in breach of local laws.

Russia has declared a “partial” mobilisation of Russian citizens to join military forces for the conflict in Ukraine. The Russian government does not recognise dual nationality. New Zealand citizens holding Russian passports should be aware that they may be in scope for mobilisation, regardless of any other citizenship they hold, including New Zealand citizenship. We offer further advice to New Zealanders overseas who hold dual citizenship here: Dual Citizenship | SafeTravel.

Civil Unrest
In response to the invasion of Ukraine, there have been several anti-war protests throughout Russia. There is a heavy police presence to prevent these and police will often detain those involved. Political protests, demonstrations and marches also occasionally escalate into violence in Russia. New Zealanders in Russia are advised to avoid all protests, demonstrations and marches.  

Terrorism
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.

Violent Crime
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.

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. New Zealanders should note that some insurance providers will not provide cover for travel to Russia, always check the details of your cover with your insurance provider.

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.

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.

It is a legal requirement to carry your passport with you at all times in Russia, 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.  

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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