The US authorities have handed over to Russia a list of 24 Russian diplomats who must leave the country by September 3. This is due to the fact that the three-year period of their stay in the country expires. Last December, the State Department set a three-year travel limit for Russian personnel to the United States, which applies only to Russian diplomats. About this in an interview with The National Interest. reported Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov.
Almost all of them will leave without replacement, because Washington has tightened visa procedures, Antonov added.
Antonov also claims that the US authorities are canceling the valid visas of spouses and children of employees of the Russian mission without giving any reasons. He added that due to US actions, Russia was forced to “take additional steps to balance the working conditions of US missions in Russia,” including prohibiting US missions from hiring Russians.
At the end of April, Vladimir Putin signed a decree restricting the ability of “unfriendly foreign states” to hire people in Russia. In May, the government included the United States and the Czech Republic in the list of “unfriendly” countries. The ban on Russians working in American consulates went into effect on August 1. The United States was forced to fire 182 employees.
The American Embassy in Moscow, due to the forced reduction in the staff of the diplomatic mission, recommended that Russians apply for nonimmigrant visas at the US diplomatic missions in other countries.
“We regret that the actions of the Russian government forced us to cut our consular staff by 75%, thus making it impossible to provide the appropriate services,” reported TASS representative of the diplomatic mission.
“In a limited number, immigration applications related to vital emergencies, as well as immigration applications that expire due to the applicant’s age, are considered,” the embassy said.
In the spring, the United States closed consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok.