Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that Moscow has issued 22 visas to employees of the American embassy in the Russian capital in recent days. His words are quoted on the page of the diplomatic department on Facebook.

“In response, so far, only, as a mockery, we have received an extension of the visa for the envoy-adviser,” Anatoly Antonov noted.

He noted that the United States regards this measure as a major concession, which Moscow does not agree with. According to Antonov, attempts to sell “empty air” to Russia will not work.

“So we expect the State Department to take a constructive approach to solving the problems of Russian diplomatic missions,” the ambassador said.

Expulsion of Russian diplomats

On August 2, it became known that the United States decided to expel Russian diplomatic workers from the country whose visa is expiring. They are ordered to leave the country by September 3. According to Antonov, the United States is consistently putting pressure on the Russian diplomatic mission, trying to reduce the presence of Russian representatives in the country.

The head of the press service of the State Department, Ned Price, clarified that the description of the situation with the requirement for diplomats to leave the country, which Antonov gave, was inaccurate. He explained that the three-year limit on the validity of a visa for Russians is not news.

24 Russian diplomats must leave the United States by September 3

In response, the Ambassador noted that Russia acts strictly in accordance with the rules of the host country. According to him, the Russians send documents to the State Department in advance, strictly on time, but “there is zero reaction”.

The diplomat recalled that about 60 employees and their families are waiting for a decision on visa requests submitted to the State Department, some for more than a year since May 2020.

Complicating the work of diplomats

Since August 1, the United States has begun to bring the composition of its diplomatic missions in accordance with the new requirements of the Russian government. In particular, Washington cannot hire Russians and citizens of third countries to work in American embassies and consulates.

Commenting on the current situation, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan noted that due to these measures, the number of diplomatic missions in the country will be reduced to 120 people. This will lead to the fact that they will not be able to provide consular services in full.