Message to SMU Faculty, Staff and Students Planning Travel to Russia
On March 14th the US State Department issued a Travel Advisory regarding the current political conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the impact on US citizens in Russia;
“The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens in Russia to the ongoing tensions in Ukraine and the potential for increased public demonstrations and anti-American actions in Russia in connection with Russian actions in the Crimea. The Department of State also alerts U.S. citizens in Russia to the heightened military presence and on-going military exercises of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation along the border region with Ukraine. This Travel Alert expires on June 13, 2014. The Department of State strongly recommends that all U.S. citizens residing or traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive pertinent safety and security information.”
US State Department Travel Advisory
Since this Advisory was issued the situation in Ukraine and Russia continues to evolve. There have been a series of sanctions involving government officials and others in Russia and the United States and a great deal of media attention to the situation.
While anti US sentiment has been promoted by some commentators in Russia, there have been no reports of hostile acts directed at US Citizens connected to the current conflict. However, the situation in Ukraine has led to a recent increase in the number of political rallies in major cities such as St. Petersburg and Moscow. Travelers should be vigilant, and avoid any demonstrations or political rallies.
The Travel Oversight Committee strongly recommends that you review your travel plans to Russia. Some parts of Russia are off limits to travel by undergraduate students, however, all travelers should plan carefully and submit your request for travel to Restricted Regions as early as possible. Doing so allows the Office of Police and Risk Management the opportunity to help you plan for a safe trip and to keep you informed of developments which may impact your travel.
Click here to Request Travel to a Restricted Region
Keep in mind, that even approved travel may be cancelled with short notice should the situation in the region deteriorate further or should either government restrict travel to Russia for US citizens.