The US Department of State has updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) on immigrant visas by adding Russians to the so-called “list of homeless nationalities” which includes nations with no US consular representation or “in which the political or security situation is tenuous” so that “the limited consular staff” are not permitted to process visa applications.
As specified, now the list includes 10 countries, the residents of which will have to apply for the immigrant visa elsewhere. These are Cuba, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela, Eritrea, and South Sudan. Russians seeking to immigrate to the US will have to go to Warsaw, Poland, to file the application.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, accused US authorities of deliberately destroying its own consular services in Russia.
“Something important broke down in the State Department long ago, and they cannot fix it,” Zakharova said on her Facebook page.
The US-Russia relations is fastly getting worse and worse in the last year. Shortly after the Joe Biden administration expelled 10 Russian diplomats and imposed sanctions on Russian citizens in mid-April, Russia added the US to the list of “unfriendly countries” with banning the US embassy in Moscow from hiring locals. Then, in June, the US Department of State warned Americans against trips to Russia, citing “terrorism” concerns and the lack of consular support in the country. And finally, now, the US authorities made a new move and forced Russians who would like to get immigration visas to go to Poland to get them.
"For many years, American diplomats have been destroying the system of consular services in Russia that was created not by them: consulates were closed, consular staff was reduced, experimented with how our symmetrical response differs from the mirror one. They turned a banal technical procedure for the 21st century into a real hell, based on bullying on the verge of sadism. Has it really occurred to any of the apologists of this dirty strategy that they are simultaneously destroying their own ideals of freedom? This is no longer a question of hitting tourism or cultural exchanges. Although their significance has not been cancelled. This is a hit at families and relatives - those ties that form the living fabric of relations between countries and the peoples inhabiting them. For people who sincerely believed in the assurances of Western thought about freedom of movement. Sports, science and much more have been dealt a blow. I would like to ask, where are all these high ideals, which are so often discussed on the other side of the Atlantic? After all, as soon as it comes to the case and the fate of specific people, human rights suddenly have no place on Washington's list of priorities," concluded Zakharova.