Moscow Blasts US for Placing Russians on ‘Homeless Nationalities’ List

Russia has blasted the US State Department on Sunday after the United States has placed Russians among the so-called “homeless nationalities” who can apply for visas in third countries, where they’ll join Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen, Reuters reports.

After the US Embassy stopped processing most visa applications in May due to Moscow’s ban on employing embassy staff in Russia, Russians are now allowed to apply for US visas in Warsaw instead of their home country.

The US Department of State has this week quietly updated its Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) on immigrant visas, adding Russians to list of nations with no US consular representation or where the limited consular staff are not permitted to process immigrant visa applications due to the tenuous or uncertain enough political or security situation in the hosting country.

According to Moscow, the latest US move is another nail in the coffin of the broken US consular system in Russia that will not only hurt tourism and cultural exchange but also the families with members living in the two countries.

Condemning the move, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused the US of turning a technical procedure that’s banal in the 21st century into a real hell and a mockery on the verge of sadism.

Zakharova stressed that US diplomats have worked for many years to destroyed a system rendering consular services in Russia they did not create, reducing the number of consular staff and analyzing how the Russia’s symmetrical response differs from a mirror response.

Writing on her Facebook profile, she also asked if no one among the apologists of “this dirty strategy” realizes they’re destroying their own ideals of freedom and underlined that, long ago, something important broke down in the US State Department and they cannot repair it.

The latest escalation comes in the light of the ongoing dowfall in Russia-US relations, which has been accompanied by the closure of consulates and seizures of diplomatic properties which have resulted in a drastic decline in the numbers of diplomatic staff in both countries.

US-Russian diplomatic relations have fallen victim to rapidly deteriorating bilateral ties and tit-for-tat moves over the past few years, starting in late 2016, when then-President Barack Obama kicked out 35 Russian diplomats and ordered the shutdown of two Russian-owned recreational compounds ‘in retaliation’ to alleged Russian election meddling.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.