Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Multilateralist Macron is the anti-Trump at UN General Assembly

Read more

FOCUS

Rio mired in economic crisis a year after hosting Olympics

Read more

ENCORE!

Elizabeth Strout: 'There’s something emotionally truthful about my characters'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Polish foreign minister: Macron's comments on Poland 'were not necessary'

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

The controversial colonial statue in Senegal; and the centuries-old town in Turkey being destroyed by the govt

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

End of an era: Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'We aren't ready' for a second vote in Kenya and flip-flopping on climate change

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Another Hurricane? It's Maria's turn. And, when's your printer going to stop working?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo: New report says army worked with militias to massacre hundreds in Beni

Read more

Americas

US embassy suspends Russian tourist visas over diplomat expulsions

© Mladen Antonov, AFP | File photo of the US embassy in Moscow.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-08-21

In a step that could affect hundreds of thousands of Russian tourists, the U.S. Embassy in Russia said Monday it would suspend issuing nonimmigrant visas for eight days from Wednesday in response to the Russian decision to cap embassy staff.

The embassy made the decision after the Russian Foreign Ministry ordered a cap on the number of U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia, it said in a statement, adding that it would resume issuing visas in Moscow on Sept. 1, but maintain the suspension at consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok indefinitely.

Nearly a quarter of a million Russian tourists visited the U.S. last year, according to Russian tourism officials.

Earlier this month, Russia ordered the U.S. to cut its embassy and consulate staff in Russia by 755, or by two-thirds, heightening tensions between Washington and Moscow after the U.S. Congress approved sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and for its aggression in Ukraine and Syria.

President Putin said that Moscow felt forced to reciprocate to the new package of sanctions against what he dismissed as "unfounded accusations," but that it would hold off on further steps against the U.S.

The vast majority of the more than 1,000 employees at the various US diplomatic missions in Russia, including the embassy in Moscow and the three consulates are local employees.

The U.S. embassy said on Monday that Russia's decision to cut its staff "calls into question Russia's seriousness about pursuing better relations." It insisted however that it will able to maintain adequate staffing "to carry out essential elements of our mission."

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference the decision to cut visa operations aims to make Russians feel discontent with their own government.

Asked about a possible Russian reaction, Lavrov said Russia will "study" the embassy's announcement, adding that unlike the U.S. government Russia "is not going to take it out on U.S. citizens."

(AP)

Date created : 2017-08-21

  • USA

    Trump signs 'flawed' Russia sanctions bill, vexing Moscow

    Read more

  • RUSSIA

    Washington to decide which embassy staff to cut in Russia

    Read more

  • Europe

    EU and Russia condemn proposed new US sanctions on Moscow

    Read more

COMMENT(S)