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Australia releases travel warning for Russia

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Australia last week released a travel advisory update for Russia which cautioned Ozzie travellers to be vigilant at all times. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) explained that Russians might be angry with Westerners due to the ongoing diplomatic war over the poisoning of two Russian nationals in London.

The DFAT bulletin said the elevated political tension in Russia could even lead to physical harassment of any Westerners in Russia. Continuing, the advice was for Australians to stay away from crowds, especially protests, and avoid getting drawn into giving opinions on the political impasse or the poisoning.

As a footnote, DFAT stated the government of Australia was not aware of any specific threats but reiterated travellers in Russia needed to keep up to date with the latest news. The DFAT travel page for Russia also asked Australians planning on travelling to 2018 FIFA World Cup matches in June to stay current on the political and terror situation.

DFAT's advice is similar to that issued by the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) late last week. The only difference is that the FCO's is terser and replaces the word Australians with British. The FCO's travel page for Russia also has a special mention for football fans. This time it is for those travelling to Moscow for Arsenal's UEFA Cup match with CSKA Moscow on the 12 April.

A former Russian spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury a month ago. Britain claims Russian agents poisoned the pair. Russia says it ain't so. In the still evolving fallout, the UK and its allies, including Australia, along with Russia have expelled more than 300 diplomats between them.