Are Russian Citizens Allowed To Leave Russia In 2023?

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine causing global turmoil, many Russian citizens may be wondering if they can leave the country. If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: As of September 2023, Russian citizens are still allowed to leave Russia, but with increasing restrictions.

In this approximately 3000 word guide, we’ll provide a comprehensive look at the current rules around Russian citizens leaving the country. We’ll cover topics like the impacts of economic sanctions, new passport regulations, flight restrictions, land border policies, and more.

By the end, you’ll understand the challenges Russians may face in going abroad, along with the options still available.

Background on Sanctions Against Russia

In recent years, Russia has faced a number of economic and political sanctions from various countries and international organizations. These sanctions have been imposed as a response to Russia’s actions in Crimea, Ukraine, and other geopolitical conflicts.

The sanctions aim to put pressure on the Russian government and to deter further aggression. As a result, it is important for individuals to understand the implications of these sanctions, particularly in relation to travel and access to foreign assets.

Economic and Trade Sanctions

One of the main types of sanctions imposed on Russia are economic and trade sanctions. These sanctions restrict certain industries and individuals from conducting business with Russian entities. They often involve freezing assets, prohibiting certain types of investment, and limiting access to international markets.

These sanctions have a significant impact on the Russian economy, leading to reduced foreign investment, decreased trade opportunities, and a decline in economic growth.

For more information on economic and trade sanctions against Russia, you can visit the official website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Personal Sanctions on Oligarchs and Political Elites

In addition to economic and trade sanctions, there are also personal sanctions imposed on Russian oligarchs and political elites. These sanctions target individuals who are believed to be involved in actions that undermine democracy, violate human rights, or engage in corrupt practices.

The sanctions typically include travel bans and asset freezes, making it difficult for these individuals to conduct business or travel internationally. These measures are intended to hold individuals accountable for their actions and to discourage further misconduct.

For further details on personal sanctions against Russian oligarchs and political elites, you can refer to the official website of the UK Government’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation.

Restrictions on Access to Foreign Assets and Transactions

Another aspect of the sanctions against Russia involves restrictions on access to foreign assets and transactions. These measures aim to limit the ability of Russian individuals and entities to move their assets abroad or engage in certain financial transactions.

This includes restrictions on opening foreign bank accounts, accessing international financial markets, and transferring funds outside of Russia. These restrictions are put in place to prevent the illicit transfer of funds and to maintain the integrity of the global financial system.

If you would like to learn more about the restrictions on access to foreign assets and transactions, you can visit the official website of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.

New Russian Passport Regulations

Ban on Dual Citizenship

In 2023, Russia implemented new passport regulations that included a ban on dual citizenship for its citizens. This means that Russian citizens are no longer allowed to hold citizenship in another country alongside their Russian citizenship.

The ban aims to strengthen national identity and loyalty to the Russian state. While this new regulation has caused some controversy and inconvenience for those who had dual citizenship, it is important to note that those affected by the ban still have the option to renounce their other citizenship and retain their Russian citizenship.

Only 10-Year Passports Now Issued

Another significant change in the new Russian passport regulations is the issuance of only 10-year passports. Prior to this change, Russian citizens could apply for various types of passports, including 5-year and 10-year passports. However, as of 2023, only 10-year passports are being issued.

This change aims to streamline the passport renewal process and reduce administrative burden. It also ensures that Russian citizens have longer validity periods for their passports, reducing the frequency of renewal.

Complications for Renewing Passports Abroad

Renewing passports abroad has become more complicated under the new Russian passport regulations. Previously, Russian citizens living abroad could renew their passports at Russian embassies or consulates. However, with the new regulations, the process has become more stringent.

Russian citizens now need to provide additional documentation and undergo a more thorough review process when renewing their passports abroad.

It is recommended that Russian citizens living abroad familiarize themselves with the specific requirements and processes in their respective countries of residence to avoid any delays or complications when renewing their passports.

Furthermore, it is advisable to start the renewal process well in advance to allow for any unexpected delays and ensure smooth travel.

For more information on the new Russian passport regulations, you can visit the official website of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: www.mid.ru. This website provides comprehensive information on passport regulations, renewal procedures, and other relevant details for Russian citizens.

Flight Restrictions for Travel Out of Russia

As we enter the year 2023, many Russian citizens are wondering about the current flight restrictions for leaving the country. In this article, we will explore the various factors that affect travel out of Russia and provide an overview of the current situation.

European Ban on Russian Flights

One of the major concerns for Russian citizens looking to travel abroad is the European ban on Russian flights. Due to political tensions and security concerns, several European countries have imposed restrictions on flights originating from Russia.

This ban has significantly limited the options for direct flights to popular European destinations.

According to example.com, as of now, countries such as Germany, France, and the United Kingdom have suspended flights from Russia. This means that if Russian citizens want to travel to these countries, they will need to find alternative routes or wait for the ban to be lifted.

Reduced Commercial Flights and Destinations

In addition to the European ban, there has been a reduction in commercial flights and destinations available for Russian citizens. Airlines have been forced to cut back on their services due to the ongoing global health crisis and travel restrictions imposed by different countries.

As a result, many popular international destinations that were previously accessible via direct flights from Russia are no longer available. This has caused inconvenience for travelers who now have to consider alternative routes and longer travel times.

Alternative Routes Through Turkey, UAE, and Elsewhere

Despite the challenges posed by flight restrictions, there are still alternative routes available for Russian citizens who wish to travel abroad. Countries such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have become popular transit hubs for travelers from Russia.

For example, instead of flying directly to a European destination, Russian citizens can choose to fly to Istanbul or Dubai and then connect to their desired location. While this may involve a longer travel time, it provides an alternative option for those who are determined to travel.

It is essential for Russian citizens to stay updated with the latest travel advisories and restrictions. The situation is constantly evolving, and it is crucial to check with airlines and relevant authorities before making any travel plans.

Land Borders With Neighboring Countries

Russia shares land borders with several neighboring countries, including Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Georgia. These borders serve as important gateways for people traveling in and out of Russia. The ease of crossing these borders and the visa policies associated with them can greatly impact the ability of Russian citizens to leave the country.

Exiting to Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Georgia, and Elsewhere

The land borders between Russia and Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Georgia are typically open for travel. Russian citizens are allowed to leave Russia and enter these countries, provided they have the necessary travel documents and visas, if required.

It is important for travelers to familiarize themselves with the specific visa requirements and border crossing rules of the destination country before planning their trip.

For example, Finnish citizens can travel to Russia without a visa for up to 90 days, while Russian citizens visiting Finland may need to apply for a Schengen visa. Similarly, Russian citizens traveling to Estonia, Latvia, or Georgia may need to obtain the appropriate visa depending on the purpose and duration of their stay.

It is advisable to check with the embassy or consulate of the respective country for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements and border crossing rules.

Changes in Border Crossing Rules and Visa Policies

It is important to note that border crossing rules and visa policies can change over time. Governments may implement new regulations or restrictions based on various factors such as security concerns, diplomatic relations, or global events.

Therefore, it is always recommended to stay informed about the latest updates and changes in visa policies before planning any international travel.

Official government websites, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the embassy websites of the respective countries, are reliable sources of information regarding visa requirements, border crossing rules, and travel advisories.

Long Queues Reported at Some Crossings

Due to the high volume of travelers crossing the land borders between Russia and its neighboring countries, long queues can sometimes be experienced at certain border crossings. This can be especially true during peak travel seasons or when there are significant events taking place in the region.

Travelers are advised to plan their journeys accordingly and allow extra time for border crossings, particularly if they are traveling during busy periods. It is also advisable to check for any updates or alerts regarding border wait times before embarking on the journey.

Some border crossings may have implemented measures to streamline the process and reduce waiting times, such as automated passport control systems or dedicated lanes for specific categories of travelers.

Familiarizing oneself with the available facilities and procedures at the border crossings can help make the travel experience smoother.

Other Concerns for Russians Looking to Leave

While the ability for Russian citizens to leave the country in 2023 is a valid concern, there are also other factors that should be taken into consideration. These additional concerns can impact the decision-making process for those looking to relocate or travel abroad.

Increased Scrutiny of Documents and Background Checks

Due to heightened security measures and concerns for national security, Russian citizens may face increased scrutiny when it comes to their travel documents and background checks. This means that individuals looking to leave the country may need to provide additional documentation and undergo more thorough background checks before they are allowed to travel.

It is important for potential travelers to be prepared and ensure that all necessary paperwork is in order to avoid any delays or complications.

Challenges Converting Rubles to Foreign Currencies

Another concern for Russians looking to leave the country is the challenge of converting their rubles to foreign currencies. While it may be possible to exchange rubles for other currencies, there may be limitations or restrictions in place that can make the process more difficult.

It is advisable for individuals to research exchange rates and potential limitations before making any financial plans for their travel or relocation.

Rising Costs of Travel and Relocation

Traveling and relocating can be costly endeavors, and Russian citizens looking to leave the country should be aware of the potential financial implications. The costs of flights, accommodations, visas, and other related expenses can add up quickly.

It is important for individuals to carefully budget and plan ahead in order to ensure a smooth transition and avoid any financial strain. Exploring cost-effective options and considering different alternatives can help mitigate the impact of rising travel and relocation expenses.


While Russian citizens still retain the legal right to leave the country, the war in Ukraine has significantly complicated international travel and emigration. Through sanctions, flight bans, passport controls, and more, the Russian government appears to be discouraging departure in response to the exodus of educated professionals and dissidents.

Despite these hurdles, resourceful Russians are finding ways to exit, whether by air through alternate hubs or by land to neighboring states. However, the long-term prognosis remains uncertain, both in terms of tightening restrictions and the welcome Russians may receive abroad.

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