22 Oct 2019 12:39

Diplomats unaware of possible Russian casualties of Chile protests, call for being careful

MOSCOW. Oct 22 (Interfax) - The Russian consulate general in Chile has no information about possible Russian casualties of Chilean protests.

"The embassy's consular section has not received any information about Russian casualties of protests in Chile," the embassy said on Twitter.

Up to 500 Russian tourists could be visiting Chile at present, a spokesperson for the Association of Russian Tour Operators told Interfax.

"As a rule, tourists spend one or two days in Santiago before they move on to other Chilean cities consistent with their itinerary. According to tour operators, a maximum of 500 Russian tourists could be visiting Chile at the moment," the spokesperson said.

"Santiago, Valparaiso, and Concepcion are the cities involved in the conflict. The Santiago Airport timetable has been adjusted because of the curfew. Some tourists have had to reschedule their flights. Chile is not a hugely popular destination for Russian holidaymakers. It is an expensive and long journey which is booked by individual tourists only," the spokesperson said.

Companies are briefing tourists on the Santiago situation. Tour operators and their partners in Chile expect the protests to die out within two or three days.

The protests started on October 14 after the Santiago metro fare was raised by 30 pesos (approximately 30 rubles). Protesters are vandalizing metro stations and setting fire to buses and cars. At least eight people have been killed in protests in the Chilean capital.

Chilean President Sabastian Pinera declared a state of emergency in Santiago and suburbs in the small hours of Saturday due to the protests. Army and police were deployed to the streets, and 180 people were detained.