The US Embassy in Moscow urged its citizens to leave Russia due to Putin’s mobilization. Around 40 American basketball players are currently under contract with Russian clubs.
Photo credits: BNS, Seffi Magriso/Euroleague Basketball via Getty Images, Karolis Kavolelis – Scanpix
On Wednesday, the US embassy in Moscow called on all its citizens to leave the country amid the beginning mobilization.
There are currently 29 American basketball players under contract with Russian VTB League clubs. Up to 15 players also play in the Superleague.
In addition, the statement said Russia could refuse to recognize U.S. dual citizenship, prevent them from leaving Russia, and conscript them into military service.
It is still unclear how this will affect the athletes with US citizenship who are currently in Russia.
The embassy has also warned that US citizens who took part in demonstrations have been arrested and therefore advised against participating in political or social protests.
Full statement from the US Embassy in Moscow:
“On September 21, the Russian government began mobilizing its citizens into the armed forces in support of its invasion of Ukraine. Russia can refuse to recognize U.S. citizenship of dual citizens, deny them access to U.S. consular assistance, and prevent them from leaving Russia, and conscripts with dual citizenship for military service.
Commercial flight options are currently severely restricted and often unavailable at short notice. Overland routes by car and bus are still open. If you wish to leave Russia, you should make your own arrangements as soon as possible. The US Embassy’s ability to assist US citizens is severely limited, and conditions, including transportation, may suddenly become even more limited.
US citizens should not travel to Russia, and those residing or traveling in Russia should leave Russia immediately while limited commercial travel opportunities exist. The Department of State provides information about business travel on the Information for U.S. Citizens in Russia – Travel Options Outside of Russia page at travel.state.gov. This page also provides information on entry requirements for neighboring countries, procedures for traveling with expired US passports in certain circumstances, and visa requirements for families with family members of US and Russian citizens.
We remind US citizens that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are not guaranteed in Russia. Avoid any political or social protest and do not photograph security personnel at these events. Russian authorities have arrested US citizens who took part in demonstrations.”