Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reported that the United States itself undermined its consular activities in Russia.
“For several years, the United States did not just work hard in the consular sphere, it undermined all its consular activities. However, they did it on their own, while hiding behind some kind of pressure from the Russian side, which is not true, ”Zakharova reported in an interview with Sputnik in Russian.
She noted that the decision about the sphere in which the diplomat works, whether he deals with civilization, economics or consular demands, is taken by the state itself. Proceeding from this, the diplomat stressed that “Moscow did not force Washington to reduce the number of consular employees, it was decided in Washington to reduce the number of diplomats in the consular direction.”
A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry called the US visa issuance system archaic due to face-to-face interviews and long waiting times, noting that Russia continues to issue visas to Americans within seven to ten days, despite the expulsion of Russian embassy staff from the States.