Russian governors and party leaders in several regions have informally barred local officials from traveling abroad following a controversy over wartime visits by civil servants to luxury resorts abroad, the Kommersant daily reported. reported Tuesday.
Two regional deputies face a public backlash, including from a top official from Russia’s ruling party, after footage of their New Year’s holidays in Mexico and Dubai circulated online. While in Dubai, one of them was seen with the daughter of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Ksenia Shoigu, whose vacation abroad did not attract any criticism.
According to Kommersant, the scandals prompted governors and the ruling United Russia party in at least seven Russian regions to issue “strong recommendations” to local officials to avoid trips abroad.
Although it is not possible to formally ban officials from traveling abroad, the proposals appear to be aimed at preventing social tension by limiting any expression of extraction.
“Everyone understands what this proposal means,” Alexei Preobrazhensky, a senior official in the Ulyanovsk region governor’s office, told Kommersant.
The informal ban has reportedly been in place in the western Bryansk region, which borders Ukraine and Belarus, since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
Belgorod and Kursk regions, like Bryansk bordering Ukraine, do not seem to have banned the travel of their respective officials.
Likewise, the ruling party in St. Petersburg has objected to banning its officials from foreign trips, and the head of United Russia in the city’s legislative assembly said it was “everyone’s personal business”.
“The problem is not one’s trips, it’s immoral to be proud of your holidays in a public setting,” Pavel Krupnik told Kommersant.
“There is no ban on traveling abroad, but you must behave reasonably,” Krupnik was told.
The Kremlin has denied that Russian officials are under a travel ban, saying regional initiatives are an “ethical issue”.
The children and close relatives of top Russian officials have often been seen on holiday abroad, including in NATO and EU states, despite the introduction of targeted Western sanctions against their parents and visa restrictions for Russian nationals , according to an investigation published by independent news outlet The Insider. last week.