The U.S. Embassy in Moscow is suspending the issuance of all non-immigrant visas with the exception of diplomatic visas starting May 12.
According to a statement published on the embassy's website, this decision was made “due to the Russian government’s April 23 notification of its intention to prohibit U.S. Mission Russia from employing foreign nationals in any capacity”.
Consular services provided by the embassy will be reduced “to include only emergency U.S. citizen services and a very limited number of age-out and life or death emergency immigrant visas.”
The Embassy also recommends U.S. citizens in Russia to leave the country by June 15 if their Russian visa expires.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to create a list of "unfriendly countries" that limits the their ability to hire Russian citizens to work in embassies.
According to Putin's decree, the Kremlin sets a limit on a number of Russians allowed to be employed by the embassies and any extra staff must be dismissed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry warned that the U.S. will be included in the list of the “unfriendly countries”. As a result, the U.S. Embassy will be forced to reduce the staff by 4 times.