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Sunday, February 25, 2018

“Significantly reduced capacity”: the U.S. Embassy commented on the situation with visas

Embassy and consulates of the USA in Russia has stopped issuing nonimmigrant visas. This process will only resume on 1 September and only in Moscow. But given how fast changing the relationship of the United States and Russia, until September can be anything. Yet in the American Embassy invited the Russians to apply for visas in other countries. Can we say that this is a temporary inconvenience or diplomatic war will lead Moscow and Washington, where next? This “MK” told the experts.

“Diplomatic war is separate from the rest of the wars that we are America, so it’s hard to say what will be the next step, noted in conversation with “MK” chief editor of the magazine “Russia in global politics” Fyodor Lukyanov. — If you act according to the script, which usually develop diplomatic conflicts, the United States should close one of our consulates (for example, in Seattle or Houston) in order to equalize the number of consulates. And this kind of parity has been established. Then the question arises: do the parties further escalation, or they don’t stop there. On all other topics, like the sanctions packages will meet separately, under another logic”.

As previously emphasized, the General Director of the Center for political information Alexei Mukhin “the US is trying to make hostages of the American visa applicants and to bring more trouble to the Russian leadership through people who travel to the United States.” “But this medal has a reverse side, the expert added, was intellectual immigration to the US from Russia, apparently, will be reduced”.

“One can hardly say that the current situation is given a rating in the comment “MK” Director of the Foundation for the study of the USA, Franklin Roosevelt Yuri Rogulev. We see that our bilateral relations do not improve, but deteriorate. On the other hand, for Russian-American relations have always been characterized by UPS and downs, because they are very tied to the political situation, are very dependent on atmosphere, emotions, and political struggle. In other words, if you look soberly, there is no particular conflict situations that could lead to a real worsening of relations, they are largely contrived, in many ways, are the result of imagination.

Further measures and countermeasures deadlock. You can come to the fact that two people from each side will carry out diplomatic functions. But it is clear that this abnormal situation, the need to make a point. We see attempts to establish relations with both sides, but we see the inconsistency in the actions of the American authorities, different approaches and inconsistency in this relationship. And in such situation will develop as the worst case scenario. It is clear that once it calms down, in the United States, the political struggle will enter a more or less normal, but it will be soon”.



“MK” asked for some clarification on the situation with U.S. visas to the press Secretary of the USA Embassy in Russia Mary Olson:

– What was meant to suspend the issuance of visas “indefinitely”?

– The procedure for issuing nonimmigrant visas will be renewed on 1 September 2017 at a much reduced volume. Interviews for nonimmigrant visa of the USA will be conducted only at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Interviews for nonimmigrant visa in the consulates of the USA in St.-Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok will be suspended until further notice.

– Suspension of visa issuance due to the reduction of staff. According to last year, the Embassy of Greece in Russia issued about 600 thousand visas when the number of diplomatic personnel of about 40 people, while the USA – 130-180 thousand with a larger number of employees. Like this comment?

– I can’t comment on personnel or the visa aspects of the work of other embassies. But I can clearly say that national security is our top priority when considering visa applications. Suspension of procedures for the issuance of nonimmigrant visas is not a solution, as a result of requirements of the Russian Federation to limit the number of employees of the U.S. mission in Russia.

– As a new limitation relates gratitude to Donald trump to address the Russian authorities and saying that the White house has been trying to reduce payroll costs? And isn’t “punished” by the US response has been ordinary people, tourists and this has a negative impact on the image of the state, proclaiming a policy of openness to the world?

We are all clearly explained. We have to reduce the volume of consular services in connection with the measures taken by the Russian Federation to limit the number of employees of the U.S. mission. Can cause only a regret that the Embassy will not be a sufficient number of staff required for operational processing such a large number of applications for visas for Russians. But again, I want to reiterate that it is not our decision to reduce the staff of the US diplomatic mission in Russia.


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