Gov’t Reassures Russian Tourists Amid US Extradition Concerns

The Maldives Ministry of Foreign Affairs has moved to allay safety concerns for Russian tourists after Moscow advised its citizens to be cautious when travelling abroad.

The statement was issued in response to Russia’s Foreign Ministry warning of potential extradition risks to the United States from over 100 countries with relevant agreements.

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Russia’s Foreign Ministry highlighted the risk of detention and subsequent extradition to the US for Russian citizens visiting countries with existing extradition and prisoner transfer treaties. The United States currently holds extradition treaties with 116 countries.

Extradition is regulated within nations by extradition acts and between nations by diplomatic treaties. In an extradition treaty, two countries agree to cooperate in cases where a person is charged or found guilty of an extraditable offence. The majority of these treaties are based on the concept of dual criminality.

A Maldivian Foreign Ministry official sought to provide reassurance, stating, “The government has always prioritized creating a welcoming and safe environment for tourists visiting the Maldives, including Russian tourists.” The official clarified that “No extradition or prisoner exchange agreement has been signed between the Maldives and the United States,” emphasizing that Russian tourists have no reason to fear visiting the island nation.

Tourism is a significant economic pillar for the Maldives, and Russia is a primary source market. In 2023, over 209,000 Russian tourists visited the Maldives, with over 150,000 arrivals recorded in the current year.

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