MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) – Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of Russia’s Chechen republic, published an opinion piece Monday suggesting that a range of current and former high-ranking Russian officials should be banned from traveling abroad.
Kadyrov’s article, published in the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia, said that the travel ban should be imposed on “those who have or formerly had access to secret files of strategic importance.”
The politician, who has been accused of human rights abuses in the North Caucasus republic that he rules, expressed concern that some former senior officials move abroad after leaving their posts and that their luggage might contain data of state importance.
He speculated that the late self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky, who was deputy chairman of Russia’s security council in the 1990s, could have kept classified data at his home in Britain where he was found dead last month.
Former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov might decide to go abroad too if charges are brought against him, wrote Kadyrov in his patriotism-charged piece, explaining what had prompted the idea of a moratorium on trips abroad for certain officials.
“I’m only speaking about those who make it their life’s mission to serve the Motherland,” Kadyrov wrote.
He recalled the Soviet-era practice of widespread restrictions on travel abroad. Some of those conditions still apply to professionals who are employed by the state and have access to strategic information.