Moscow decries ‘unfriendly actions’ as U.S. ends visa providers for many Russians By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A basic view reveals the U.S. embassy in Moscow
By Dmitry Antonov and Alexander Marrow
MOSCOW (Reuters) -The Kremlin accused Washington on Friday of fuelling pressure with “unfriendly actions” after the U.S. embassy in Moscow mentioned it was slicing workers and stopping processing visas for many Russians.
The embassy mentioned it was slicing consular workers by 75% and that from Could 12 it will cease processing non-immigrant visas for non-diplomatic journey after a brand new Russian regulation imposed limits on what number of native workers can work at international diplomatic missions.
Meaning Russians, who should not diplomats or inexperienced card seekers, will now not have the ability to apply inside their very own nation for visas to go to the USA for tourism and different functions. They must make such purposes in third nations as an alternative if they should.
The Russian international ministry identified that Russian consulates in the USA had been nonetheless issuing visas inside 10 days regardless of struggling diplomatic cutbacks themselves and mentioned there was nothing to cease Washington from topping up workers by bringing in U.S. nationals.
It mentioned the U.S. diplomatic workers quota in Russia stood at 455, however that there have been solely 280 accredited workers, giving Washington ample room to prime up workers numbers.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov mentioned the embassy’s resolution would have little sensible impression as a result of, he mentioned, Russians have already been struggling to get U.S. visas.
“You already know, right here one has to take a look at the basis reason behind the tense state of affairs that’s growing in our bilateral relations,” Peskov advised reporters.
“In the event you unravel the knot of unfriendly steps in the other way, then it turns into apparent that the precursor to all of that is the unfriendly actions of the USA.”
He mentioned Russia had “anticipated higher” of the primary 100 days of Joe Biden’s U.S. presidency.
He welcomed strikes to increase the New START nuclear arms treaty. “However this optimistic baggage remains to be small as compared with the load of negativity that we’ve got collected over these 100 days. This load sadly prevails,” he mentioned.
Moscow and Washington have lengthy differed over a spread of points, however ties slumped additional after Biden mentioned he believed President Vladimir Putin was “a killer”.
The USA imposed sanctions on Russia this month for alleged malign exercise, together with interfering in final yr’s U.S. election, cyber hacking and “bullying” neighbouring Ukraine.
Moscow retaliated with sanctions in opposition to the USA, and has rejected U.S. criticism of its therapy of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Russia’s ties with a number of nations in central and japanese Europe have additionally deteriorated in current weeks, resulting in a collection of diplomatic expulsions.
When Putin signed the regulation limiting native workers employed at diplomatic missions final week, he additionally advised the federal government to attract up a listing of “unfriendly” states to be topic to the restrictions.
A draft listing printed by Russian state TV suggests the USA is among the nations that will likely be on it.
“We remorse that the actions of the Russian authorities have compelled us to cut back our consular work drive by 75%,” the U.S. embassy mentioned in a press release.
“Efficient Could 12, U.S. Embassy Moscow will cut back consular providers supplied to incorporate solely emergency U.S. citizen providers and a really restricted variety of age-out and life or dying emergency immigrant visas,” it mentioned.
“I’ve at all times been afraid of the ‘Iron Curtain’, solely now it is not being imposed by our facet, however by the opposite facet,” mentioned Ksenia Sobchak, a former Russian presidential candidate.