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US embassy to suspend issuance of nonimmigrant visas in Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-21 21:27

MOSCOW - The US embassy in Russia said Monday that it will suspend all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia for nine days starting Wednesday due to the Russian government-imposed cap on US diplomatic personnel in Russia.

"All nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on August 23. Operations will resume in Moscow on September 1; visa operations at the US consulates will remain suspended indefinitely," the US embassy said in a statement.

Existing appointments for the nine-day period will be canceled and applicants will be provided with instructions to reschedule, it added.

The US visa freeze aims to "provoke dissatisfaction of the our citizens with the activities of the Russian authorities," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the US decision.

It is the logic of those who organize Color Revolutions and it is a clear consequence of the policy of the (former President Barack) Obama administration, he said at a news briefing.

Lavrov said Russia will study the US embassy statement in detail but Russia will not take it out on US citizens.

Russia last month demanded the United States cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people to 455 by Sept 1 and seized a US warehouse and a recreational compound in Moscow in retaliation for Washington's anti-Russian sanctions.

In December 2016, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled and two retreats in New York and Maryland used by Russian diplomats were closed by the Obama administration over accusations of alleged Russian hacking during the presidential election.

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