Russian Railways and industry insiders were quick to dismiss claims published Monday that state-run companies may have imposed foreign travel restrictions against their own employees.
Citing an unnamed source in the tourism industry, Kommersant reported that employees of Russian companies hit by Western sanctions — including Russian Railways — have recently canceled their reservations for vacations abroad.
The source told Kommersant that rather than suffering all-out travel bans, employees of state-run companies were likely choosing to spend their holidays in Russia to avoid "irritating" their bosses.
Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin and Rostec CEO Sergei Chemezov featured among the long list of business leaders and government officials who have been banned from entering Western countries in the aftermath of Russia's annexation of Crimea in March.
Russian Railways — whose head Yakunin has been barred from entering the U.S. and Australia — denied that the company had imposed any sort of travel ban against its employees. "As it has been the case in the past, the circle of people who hold state secrets must follow certain procedures upon leaving the country," the company's press service told Interfax. "Russian Railways does not have a foreign travel ban for its employees, nor could it ever have one."
The head of the Russia's Tourism Industry Union's press service, Irina Tyurina, dismissed the Kommersant report as having been based on a rumor, Gazeta.ru reported.