U.S. Embassy stops providing nonimmigrant visas to Russians as diplomatic standoff deepens
Express News Global
By Express News Desk|Updated: August 22,2017
MOSCOW– The United States Embassy in Moscow revealed Monday that it would briefly stop releasing all nonimmigrant visas in Russia and significantly cut visa operations as it slashes its personnel to abide by the current salvo in Washington’s diplomatic standoff with Moscow.
The choice follows Russia required that the United States objective in the nation minimize its personnel from more than 1,200 staff members to 455, the exact same size as the Russian diplomatic objective in the United States. The American Embassy’s statement will likely imply hold-ups for the numerous countless Russians who look for nonimmigrant visas to the United States each year.
” Russia’s choice to decrease the United States’ diplomatic existence here brings into question Russia’s severity about pursuing much better relations,” U.S. Objective to Russia, the cumulative name for American diplomatic and federal government personnel in Russia, stated in a declaration released on the embassy’s site. “We will preserve enough personnel to perform important components of our objective.”
The visa freeze, which likewise stimulated stress and anxiety that Russia might strike back, is the most recent escalation in between Moscow and Washington returning to the supposed Russian hacking project throughout the 2016 governmental election.
Senior Russian legislators in the Duma and the Federation Council on Monday recommended a “mirror” action that might impact Americans looking for Russian visas. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated he thought that by slowing the visa procedure the United States might be aiming to “provoke discontent of Russian people versus the actions of the Russian federal government,” however Lavrov likewise appeared to eliminate a comparable action by the Russian federal government.
” When it comes to our countermeasures, as I have actually stated, we need to take a better take a look at the choices that the Americans have actually revealed today,” Lavrov stated at a joint press conference with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Moscow. “We’ll see. I can just state something: We will not take it out on American residents.”
Formally, Moscow’s need that the United States Objective to Russia cut its personnel remained in retaliation for the Obama administration’s choice to expel lots of Russian diplomats in December. However the choice came quickly after your home and Senate authorized the current round of broad, anti-Russian sanctions, even more cooling relations regardless of the obvious love in between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
With a Sept. 1 due date to cut more than 750 personnel positions looming, the embassy revealed on Monday that it would suspend all nonimmigrant visa applications and interviews up until then, which later it would suspend U.S. visa interviews at the American consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok– efficiently requiring Russians throughout the large nation to take a trip to Moscow for a U.S. visa.
The United States Embassy provided 136,665 nonimmigrant visas in Moscow in 2016 inning accordance with main figures launched by the State Department. By contrast, the United States consulate in Vladivostok, a city in the far east of Russia, provided 7,092 nonimmigrant visas. In overall, the United States approved near to 190,000 visas in its embassies and consulates in Russia in 2016. By contrast, the Russian federal government approved under 95,000 nonimmigrant visas, most of them for travelers.