The United States has independently undermined its consular work in Russia. On Saturday, May 1, the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Maria Zakharova told about this in an interview with the YouTube channel Sputnik.
“Accordingly, it was not Moscow that forced Washington to reduce the number of consular employees, it was Washington’s decision to reduce the number of diplomats in the consular direction,” Zakharova noted.
According to her, the United States independently undermined its consular work in the country, but at the same time “covered itself with some measures of influence from Russia, which is not true.”
Zakharova stressed that the system for issuing American visas is archaic due to face-to-face interviews and increased waiting times. Russia continues to issue visas to US citizens for a period of seven to ten days, although Washington has expelled employees of the Russian embassy, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman concluded.
On April 30, the US Embassy in Moscow announced that it would reduce the number of consular services provided from May 12 due to Moscow’s decision to ban the hiring of Russians. In addition, the staff of the consulate will be reduced by 75%.
It was also reported that the US Embassy is stopping the issuance of visas for nonimmigrant and non-diplomatic travel. In addition, the United States diplomatic mission recommended that Americans whose Russian visas expire to leave the country before June 15.
The “diplomatic” aggravation between Russia and Western countries began on April 15, when the United States, along with the introduction of new sanctions, expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Moscow responded to this in a mirrored manner, and also banned the American diplomatic mission from hiring citizens of the Russian Federation.