Moscow did not require the U.S. to reduce the number of American diplomats in Russia. This decision was made by Washington,as stated by the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova in an interview with the television station Dozhd.
According to Zakharova, Russia will not retaliate in response to the restrictions introduced by the U.S. embassy for obtaining visas, since in this case it would be tantamount to “genocide of ordinary people.”
According to the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, in May, America began to increase the time it takes to process visa applications. The period increased from 10 to 50 days.
“We began to receive requests from citizens asking what happened to the American embassy,” she said. In other words, according to Zakharova, this happened long before Vladimir Putin, as a countermeasure, demanded that the American embassy staff be cut by 755 people.
According to Zakharova, this was Russia’s response to the winter sanctions put in place by former U.S. President Barack Obama when, in December of last year, Washington expelled Russian diplomats.
Asked whether what is happening between America and Russia could be called a new cold war, Zakharova replied that there are a few words that accurately describe the situation, but she couldn’t say them on the air.