USA Demands to Expel 24 Russian Diplomats by September 2021

The American authorities have handed over to the Russian embassy a list of 24 diplomats who must leave the country by September 3 of this year due to the expiration of visas, according to the Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov for the National Interest magazine. 

Picture: Interfax
"Unfortunately, the situation does not change for the better. Russian diplomatic missions in the United States are still forced to work under unprecedented restrictions that not only remain in effect, but are stepped up. Regardless of the Biden administration’s declarations concerning the important role of diplomacy and willingness to develop stable and predictable relations with our country, the Russian diplomatic presence experiences continuous strikes.

[...] we received a list of twenty-four diplomats who are expected to leave the country before September 3, 2021. Almost all of them will leave without replacements because Washington has abruptly tightened visa issuing procedures.

It has gotten to the point where the U.S. authorities cancel valid visas of spouses and children of our staff with no reasons provided. The widespread delays in renewing expired visas are also aimed at squeezing Russian diplomatic workers out of the country. As a result, about sixty of my colleagues (130 together with family members) cannot return to their motherland even under urgent humanitarian circumstances.

We have shown restraint for a long time but after another wave of aggressive sanctions by the United States in April we were obliged to take additional steps to equate conditions of work for U.S. missions in Russia, including a prohibition to hire local personnel. It is certain that nobody benefits from such a situation. There is a need for solutions based on the principle of parity," Antonov said.

The Russian Ambassador expressed hope that common sense will prevail and the life of Russian and American diplomats in the United States and Russia will be normalized on the principle of reciprocity.

Ru-Main, 03.08.2021 

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