State Department Denies Using Visa to Retaliate Moscow

In light of the Russians ambassador accusations against the US with regard to the action taken on the 24 Russian diplomats, the US State Department underlined that the limitation on the length of diplomatic tours in the US is designated to balance the operations of missions, , Reuters reports.

State Department’s spokesperson Ned Price responded to Russian ambassador Antonov’s characterization of the US action, saying that his statement is inaccurate and pointing the US is not using the visas to retaliate.

Price pointed that 3-year limit on visa validity for Russians is nothing new just like the need for Russians to reapply to extend their visas, though applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. or to leave the country.

He reminded that State Department has announced last week it would limit the assignment lenght of most newly arriving members of foreign, diplomatic, or consular missions in the US to a maximum of five consecutive years, though that won’t apply to all missions.

Meanwhile, Price pointed that the US is considering appropriate actions in response to measures that the Russian Federation put in place on Sunday, putting a ban on hiring Russian and third-country citizens at US diplomatic missions in Russia.

That has forced the US State Department to let go of hundreds of our employees in Russia and suspend consular services at US consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok thought the embassy in Moscow remains open

The US embassy in Russia is forced to function with its minimal staff of 120 employees due the ban becoming effective on August 1, Russia enforced in response to anti-Russian sanctions declared by Washington in April when 10 more Russian diplomats expelled for allegedly links with intelligence services

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