U.S. participants in youth event in Russia checked for migration law compliance

Four Americans taking part in a youth leadership training session in a St. Petersburg suburb were taken to a local branch of Russia's Federal Migration Service on Thursday to establish whether their activities in Russia complied with Russian migration law, one of the session coordinators said.

Four Americans taking part in a youth leadership training session in a St. Petersburg suburb were taken to a local branch of Russia's Federal Migration Service on Thursday to establish whether their activities in Russia complied with Russian migration law, one of the session coordinators said.

"Migration Service, police and prosecution service officers arrived at the training session to check people's papers around 11 a.m. They asked our four guests from the U.S., who are members of the California Association of Student Councils [CASC], to come with them to the Kurortny district branch of the FMS. They are still there with our representatives," Sergei Belolipetsky told Interfax.

He said the Americans had arrived on tourist visas. Tourist visa holders are not allowed to work. However, "in our view, it isn't work to meet people from another country or conduct cultural exchanges," Belolipetsky said.

He said CASC had been organizing summer camps and running youth leadership training sessions in the United States for 60 years, and that the session in the suburb of Repino was the first instance of the organization's involvement in Russia. The four CASC members had arrived in St. Petersburg to co-manage a session with members of Russian nonprofit organization Young Leaders Association.

A spokesperson for the St. Petersburg prosecutor's office confirmed to Interfax that foreign nationals present at the training session had been checked for compliance with migration law but denied knowing the results of the check.

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