The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the U.S. intentionally cut the number of employees of its general consulates in Russia working in the visa field to “provoke public discontent.”
This was stated in a message published on the Ministry’s website.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation believes that the decision to reduce the staff in American consulates was made by Washington. According to the Russian Ministry, this was done “deliberately.” “They intentionally made it inconvenient for Russians, hoping to provoke public discontent,” the message said.
“It created a massive delay in issuing visas for Aeroflot crews, which are making regular flights to the U.S. This is a real threat to the airline and violates the bilateral air services agreement. Serious problems arose among Russian athletes who could not get to international competitions on time, which is very similar to deliberate discrimination of our athletes and contradicts the obligations the Americans took on when they called for the competitions to be held there. And we are not even talking about the ruined plans of thousands of ordinary people,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
At the same time, the ministry added that they welcome the resumption of issuing visas in American consulates. “However, it is regrettable that, as the U.S. Embassy explained, visa services will, in fact, continue to be limited,” the Ministry said.
Two days ago, it became known that U.S. embassies will resume issuing visas in regions of Russia. At the same time, the website of the U.S. embassy in Russia stressed that the documents for entry will be issued to a limited extent, explaining that this is due to the Russian government’s decision to place limitations on the staff of American diplomatic missions. This happened in July 2017. In late August, the U.S., in response to Russian actions, decided to close the Consulate-General of Russia in San Francisco and reduce staff at the Russian Trade Representative Office in Washington.