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Arrests and Legal Disputes

While you are in Russia, you are subject to Russian laws and procedures, which are often quite different from those in the U.S. Disputes in Russia are handled under Russian law.

If you are arrested or involved in a dispute with Russian authorities, you should ask the authorities to notify the U.S. Consulate General in St. Petersburg. We cannot get you out of jail, but we can help ensure that you are not mistreated or treated discriminatorily. We can visit you, and provide a list of local attorneys, and, if you choose, contact your friends and relatives on your behalf. We can also bring food and clothing to you at the prison, and assist with money transfers.

The U.S. Consulate General cannot, however, become involved in private legal disputes, such as any that might arise between you and a Russian business partner. In these situations it might be helpful to retain a lawyer. The American Citizen Services Unit at the Consulate General maintains a list of lawyers in St. Petersburg who have told us they are available to represent foreigners.