The U.S. State Department on Friday advised Americans to reconsider traveling to Russia during the month-long World Cup soccer tournament amid increased risks of “terrorism and harassment” at tourist hubs.
The Level 3 travel advisory didn’t state a specific terror threat, but it cautioned Americans to remain alert in public spaces where large crowds of people congregate.
“Although security for the World Cup will be extensive, terrorists may seek to attack event locations such as stadiums and Fan Fest viewing areas, tourist sites, transportation hubs and other public venues,” the advisory said.
The advisory also warned of “harassment and extortion” from Russian law enforcement and other officials. It mentioned that U.S. government assistance to detainees is “often unreasonably delayed” by Russian officials.
The Russian government has limited the U.S. government’s capacity for providing help to its citizens after the Kremlin-imposed reduction on U.S. diplomatic personnel in the country, the advisory said.
The department said travelers should expect increased police presence and security measures around stadiums hosting World Cup games and fan areas.
Russia has made security a top priority during the tournament, issuing fans extensive background checks and micro chipped IDs, closing sea ports near cities hosting games, and protecting venues with an array of air defense missiles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.