Russia Bans First Foreigner for Not Paying Fines

Foreign citizens beware: If you don't pay any fines imposed by the authorities, you risk being banned from Russia.

The Federal Marshals Service has placed the first foreigner on a debtor blacklist, a Tajik national who owes 212,000 rubles ($6,840) in fines for operating an unlicensed minibus service in Moscow, Interfax reported Friday.

Until now, travel restrictions were applied only to Russian citizens. Those who had large debts were denied exit from the country until the debts were paid.

The unidentified Tajik is the first foreigner in the country to be blacklisted, and the marshals service said it was preparing dozens of cases against other foreigners.

Moscow's population of some 15 million includes about 850,000 foreigners, mostly migrant workers from other former Soviet republics, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday.