I am currently pursuing my PhD in mechanical engineering in the US and currently working (as part of a team of graduates) with my advisor on a research project. At this stage, we are in the modelling phase which requires us to perform weekly meetings where we perform short presentation about recent literatures and discuss what challenges we might face and brainstorm several ideas.
Recently, my advisor established contact with another team for collaboration from the engineering department of country X to take part in the modelling phase. The issue is that country X has been regarded a sworn enemy country from my native country Y in which country Y forbids to even make contact with any individual from this country. I myself never been interested in politics and have never prompted any conversation regarding this matter with anyone in my academic studies.
Moreover, I don't believe in any form of hate or discrimination including any bias towards any nationality (even people from country X!)
However, my main concern is my academic reputation in my native country which will be challenging to confront and illustrate to individuals there especially since my country is always in a heated political turmoil and having said this my academic career in my native country Y would be put to jeopardy.
My main question:
How should I properly inform my advisor of the conflict of interest that I am facing? How can I briefly discuss the consequences that I might face in my native country without sounding too much political?
While the project itself requires huge amount of work and dedication from our team, I fear that by informing my advisor that I will not to pursue it anymore would either add more obstacles to our modelling progress or it leave a negative impression on me from my advisor.
Note: the term "enemy" is based on what my country states in the media when referring to country X.