Where can Russians travel to?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has arguably been the most significant geopolitical event of the past year, one whose repercussions were felt across industries, including travel. While the Russian passport only declined one spot from the 2022 Henley & Partner’s list, travel for Russian nationals has been limited for a number of other reasons.

The EU closed its airspace to any Russian airline at the onset of the war, while the relative weakness of the ruble has made traveling abroad a more expensive endeavor. Then in September, the European Commission accused Russia of “demonstrating a complete disregard to the international rules-based order” and said it would suspended a landmark 2007 travel agreement in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, effectively making the process of traveling into the EU lengthier and more expensive.

That month, the Baltic states, Finland, and Poland—the only EU countries part of the visa-free travel Schengen area that share land borders with Russia—closed their borders to Russian nationals, while Slovakia and Czechia later announced they won’t be issuing humanitarian visas to Russians looking to flee conscription.

Russian passport holders are eligible for conscription, a fate hundreds of thousands of people have tried to avoid. Russia has also been accused of weaponizing passports in occupied areas of Ukraine by forcibly issuing documents and making it difficult to renew or obtain Ukrainian citizenship. Ukraine has said that this practice is in violation of the Geneva convention and constitutes a war crime.

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