American and European Tourists Do Not Go to Russia Anymore

Russian officials insist that the Europeans and Americans have not lost interest in visiting Russian Federation

According to the latest data from Russia’s Foreign Ministry, there was a huge drop in number of visas issued by the Russian Federation to visitors from the US and European countries.

Russian Foreign Ministry officials say that there were only about 1,000 travel visas issued to US citizens in the first three months 2023. They also confirm that the number of visitors from European countries has declined sharply.

At the same time, Russian officials insist that the Europeans and Americans have not lost interest in visiting Russia, the ‘vast majority’ of visas granted to Americans were for tourism or family visits.

However, there was a ‘very low demand for business visas,’ Russia’s Foreign Ministry reports, putting the number of such documents issued to US nationals in the first quarter of 2023 at a just a couple of dozen.

As for the Europeans, Russia registered a nearly ten-fold decline in the number of visas issued compared to pre-pandemic levels. Even though the total number stood at just 48,500, Moscow argued that there are still ‘signs’ that EU citizens’ ‘interest in business as well as tourist trips to Russia’ is still ‘there’.

In mid-February, the United States Department of State issued a travel advisory, warning Americans against traveling to Russia “due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment, and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention.”

In May, Russia designated the US an ‘unfriendly country’ along with the Czech Republic. Following the outbreak of Moscow’s brutal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine last February, and the imposition of the European Union‘s punitive sanctions on Russia, the whole bloc ended up on Russia’s ‘unfriendly country’ hitlist.

Overall, Russia’s Foreign Ministry claims, there was a 16% year-on-year rise in total number of visas issued to foreign visitors during the first three months of 2023.

A total of 52,000 out of nearly 145,000 Russian travel visas issued to foreigners were for Chinese nationals. There was a more than 13-fold jump in the number of tourist entries by citizens of the People’s Republic of China over the past year.

A growing number of Chinese are visiting Russia ‘for business and education purposes,’ Russian officials claim.

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