U.S. slashes visa services in Russian Federation as relations sour

US President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg Germany
US Diplomatic Missions In Russia Suspend Nonimmigrant Visa Operations
Author

22 August, 2017

The move comes just weeks after the Kremlin ordered the US diplomatic mission in Russian Federation to reduce its staff to a maximum of 455 by September 1.

Earlier this month the Kremlin ordered the USA to slash its diplomatic work-force by almost two-thirds - cutting 755 positions.

In case the United States takes further unilateral steps to cut Russian diplomatic staff, retaliatory measures will follow, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned. However, the necessary drastic reduction in staff is expected to slow down the embassy's work and lead to a reduction in some practical bilateral exchanges.

On Monday Russian officials said that the decision was the result of political wrangling in Washington and presented Moscow as the defender of the rights of ordinary citizens. This was itself a tit-for-tat response to US sanctions brought against Russian Federation for its alleged cyberhacking and military involvements in Ukraine and Syria.

The U.S. will suspend all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russian Federation on Wednesday, its embassy in Moscow said on Monday. In mid-July, the United States announced a new package of sanctions against Russian Federation, which were termed illegitimate and unjustifiable.

More news: Donald Trump responds to Barcelona attack with reviving 'Internet rumor'

Earlier Russian citizens could apply for tourist visas in local US consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, but the move ends this practice, forcing applicants to go to the Russian capital. As part of the suspension of non-immigrant visa operations, interviews already set up for Russians' visa applications between Wednesday and the end of the month will be cancelled. Interview schedules are typically backed up by 45 days or more.

It said services would be resumed on Sept 1, but would be offered "on a greatly reduced scale".

"The legitimate rights of our citizens must be defended, so if there are any infringements on our citizens, then mirror measures should also be introduced against the citizens of the United States", Klimov said on Monday, according to Interfax, a Russian news agency.

There has been a diplomatic freeze between Russian Federation and the USA since Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Russian and western diplomats have noted that the demanded cuts can be achieved at least partly by laying off Russian administrative and technical staff and does not call for the expulsion of hundreds of American diplomats.

Speaking to Russia's state-funded Sputnik radio, the deputy head of the Federation Council's foreign affairs committee, Vladimir Dzhabarov, echoed Pushkov's point.


More news


  • Md. Man Admits to Stabbing, Killing Sister, Cousins

    Md. Man Admits to Stabbing, Killing Sister, Cousins

    When she returned home early Friday morning, she found the girls in a basement bedroom, suffering from apparent stab wounds. Williams has confessed to killing all three victims, according to an official statement from the police department .
    So Excited To Be A Part Of 'Saaho': Shraddha

    So Excited To Be A Part Of 'Saaho': Shraddha

    The shooting of Prabhas' Saaho has just started, but the craze for the film is getting bigger with each passing day. Producers at UV Creations confirmed the news saying, "Shraddha is absolutely the flawless choice for the role".
    Powerball to Top $500 Million

    Powerball to Top $500 Million

    The odds of matching all five numbers and the Powerball number is 1 in about 293 million, according to the Powerball website . The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the Powerball game were: 09-15-43-60-64, Powerball: 4, Power Play: 3.
  • Tropical Depression Could Form Within The Next 48 Hours

    Tropical Depression Could Form Within The Next 48 Hours

    Invest 92L could gradually strengthen as it moves to the west-northwest over the next few days. All three tropical disturbances now have a 40 percent chance of development over five days.
    Sharapova is given wild card for US Open

    Sharapova is given wild card for US Open

    The USTA announced on Tuesday that Sharapova would get a wild card into the US Open , which begins in two weeks. There will be no such barrier in NY ; she'll slide straight into the main draw.
    McMaster Repeatedly Refuses to Say if He Can Work With Bannon

    McMaster Repeatedly Refuses to Say if He Can Work With Bannon

    Scaramucci is still a supporter of Trump's, saying that the president "can be a tough coach at times" but "this guy's a victor ". Trump fired Scaramucci, a wealthy NY financier, on July 31, just days after naming him as communications director.
  • Thousands March in Boston for Counter-Protest to 'Free Speech Rally'

    Thousands March in Boston for Counter-Protest to 'Free Speech Rally'

    City leaders reiterated that a zero-tolerance policy on violence and weapons will be strictly enforced during Saturday's events . Police escorted several rally participants through the crowds, sometimes struggling against protesters who tried to stop them.
    U.S.  retail sales surge in July

    U.S. retail sales surge in July

    Health and personal care stores increased 0.4 percent over June and increased 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. That helped boost sales of so-called nonstore retailers by 1.3% last month, the largest increase since December.
    Local spots to watch the Perseid's meteor shower this weekend

    Local spots to watch the Perseid's meteor shower this weekend

    At Babcock State Park, naturalist Abby Rice will provide meteor-spotting guidance during a Perseid Party that starts at 8:30 p.m. The moon, which will be three-quarters full at the time of the peak, will rise around 11 p.m.
  • Central Intelligence Agency reportedly admits North Korean nukes are good enough reach United States cities

    As Trump tweeted last week: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely". North Korea's July 4 launch. "And he is still somewhat of an unknown to us, and unpredictable", Mullen said.
    Taylor Swift Testifies In Court Over DJ Who Allegedly Touched Her Inappropriately

    Taylor Swift Testifies In Court Over DJ Who Allegedly Touched Her Inappropriately

    She said she didn't contact police in order to protect her daughter, saying she didn't want the incident to "define her life". For its part, the radio host continues with Taylor Swift for having caused the loss of his job and messed up his name.
    Kylie Cosmetics Is Currently Worth a Staggering $420 Million

    Kylie Cosmetics Is Currently Worth a Staggering $420 Million

    On coping with the pressures of global stardom, Kylie is heard telling best pal Jordyn Woods: "I just want to run away". All of her beauty experiments, from lip kits, to loose highlighters to eye shadow palettes sell out.