The American side is delaying the extension of visas to almost 60 employees of the embassy and Consulates General of Russia in the US and about 40 more workers are waiting for entry permits in Moscow, according to the Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov.
“Our foreign institutions have plenty of problems. Almost 60 employees remain at the embassy and Consulates General of Russia in the United States, […] to whom the American side is delaying the extension of visas,” he said, adding that taking into account the family members of those employees, there are about 155 people altogether.
He also noted that about 40 workers are waiting for entry permits in Moscow, many of whom have been on the “waiting list” for more than one year.
“We are faced with the violation of family values when some family members of diplomats have visas, others do not,” Antonov stated.
According to the Ambassador, “the American side deliberately presents itself as a victim of visa restrictions by Russia.”
“Behind these fake news, there is an intention to assign all responsibility for consular and visa difficulties to Moscow, which does not correspond to reality. This, in particular, concerns the recent call by American lawmakers on the need to expel 300 Russian diplomats. Such initiatives demonstrate the ignorance of their authors since there is no such number of employees in the Embassy and Consulates General of the Russian Federation in the United States. In fact, this would mean the complete closure of all Russian bilateral foreign institutions in the United States,” Antonov said.
At the same time, Antonov noted that Russian foreign institutions in the US, “despite all the known difficulties,” continue to fully work in the visa field, so that the Americans themselves have no problems with obtaining Russian visas.
“Despite the continuing crisis potential in bilateral relations, Moscow and Washington share the desire to maintain dialogue […] the Russian side is aimed at the positive – to narrow the circle of ‘irritants’ as much as possible, to look for mutually acceptable solutions,” the Ambassador added.
Thus, the Russian side calls on the US to return to normal work in the visa field, as Moscow is upset by the situation in which Russian citizens are forced to fly to other countries to apply for an American visa.