May 1, 2021
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U.S. Embassy to stop issuing visas to Russians

The US Embassy in Russia is reducing the list of services provided due to new restrictions on employees. This is stated in the statement of the diplomatic mission.

It is noted that from May 12, the embassy will start working only for Americans. Consular services will not be provided to citizens of other countries: Russians will also stop issuing visas of a non-immigration and non-diplomatic nature. The only exceptions are urgent cases.

In the near future, the embassy in Moscow will also not engage in ordinary notary services, issue birth documents abroad or renew passports. It is indicated that the provision of emergency assistance to the Americans may be delayed due to restrictions on the departure of employees outside the city.

Such changes are related to the decision of the Russian authorities to prohibit the diplomatic mission from hiring non-Americans. “We regret that the actions of the Russian government forced us to cut our staff by 75 percent,” the statement said.

In mid-April, Moscow imposed retaliatory sanctions on Washington. They provided for the expulsion of 10 American diplomats, the prohibition of diplomatic mission employees to travel outside their base and hire citizens of Russia and third countries. In addition, the Foreign Ministry published a blacklist of American officials who were banned from entering Russian territory.

On April 15, US President Joe Biden signed a decree on the introduction of new sanctions against Moscow. Among the grounds for their introduction are indicated its hostile activity in the cyber sphere, interference in elections in the United States and in other foreign countries.

Sonya Kotetskaya

Photo: Alexander Miridonov / Kommersant

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