US Embassy Warns of Slowdown of Consular Activities in Russia Amid Staff Cuts

© Sputnik / Iliya Pitalev / Go to the mediabankUS Embassy in Moscow
US Embassy in Moscow - Sputnik International
The US Embassy in Russia does not rule out the possibility that the forced reduction of the staff of the US diplomatic missions could lead to a slowdown of consular activities in the country, the embassy said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the embassy statement, circulated in Russian and obtained by RIA Novosti, "this step is unjustified and causes regret."

"We are assessing the impact that such a restriction may have. It is still too early to even try to speculate about how this will affect the work of the consular service. But it is quite possible that this will lead to a decrease in the efficiency and promptness of consular activity," the statement said.

The Pentagon, headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense - Sputnik International
Pentagon Says Expulsion of US Diplomats From Russia Won't Affect Military Ops
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that the diplomatic presence of the United States in Russia would be decreased by 755 employees.

Last week, both chambers of the US Congress approved a bill introducing economic sanctions on Russia, with the White House stating that President Donald Trump is intending to sign the bill into law.

In December 2016, Washington adopted sanctions targeting Russia over its alleged interference in the US presidential election, something which Moscow has repeatedly denied, expelling 35 Russian diplomats and seizing two diplomatic compounds used by Russia.

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