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U.S. advises citizens in Russia to consider leaving "immediately" while flights available

The warning comes as more flights are being canceled in and out of Russia.

Published: February 27, 2022 4:05pm

Updated: February 27, 2022 4:35pm

The U.S. embassy in Russia on Sunday advised citizens in Russia to leave "immediately" due to concerns over flight cancelations. 

The alert comes two days after the U.S. embassy issued a security alert warning that more than a dozen Russian airports were closed and more could shut down without notice while more airspace restrictions may be implemented.

American travelers in Russia are also facing issues paying with credit and debit cards. The U.S. embassy issued an advisory on Saturday telling citizens to find "alternate means of payment" as non-Russian credit and debit cards are being declined in Russia. The problems are thought to be related to the sanctions imposed on the Kremlin after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine last week, the U.S. embassy stated.

Russia has been under a "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory by the State Department for more than a month due to tensions with Ukraine.

"An increasing number of airlines are cancelling flights into and out of Russia, and numerous countries have closed their airspace to Russian airlines," the alert issued Sunday states. "U.S. citizens should consider departing Russia immediately via commercial options still available."

The European Union on Sunday issued a blanket flight ban on Russian planes, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced.

"They won’t be able to land in, take off or overfly the territory of the EU," she tweeted, adding that this includes "the private jets of oligarchs."

President von der Leyen also announced Sunday that the "Kremlin's media machine" will also be banned in the EU. This includes state-owned propaganda outlets such as Russia Today and Sputinik.

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