Moscow to Further Examine US Decision to Limit Issuing Visas to Russians

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Russia will further examine the US decision to suspend and then to limit issuing of visas to Russian nationals, but it will not create difficulties for US nationals trying to obtain a visa for Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, the US embassy announced that non-immigrant visa processing would be suspended on Wednesday, August 23. The embassy said Moscow's requirement to cut its staff to 455 diplomats and technical personnel would also affect "the scheduling of a limited number of immigrant visa applications."

"I just familiarized myself with this decision, only saw its summary in media reports. Therefore of course, we shall examine it additionally," Lavrov told a press conference.

According to the minister, Russia’s response measures will depend on the further examination of the US decision.

"We’ll see, I can say one thing, we will not take it out on the US citizens. If someone hoped that in this case a bad example will be contagious, they are wrong," Lavrov said.

The US Embassy in Russia's decision to discontinue issuing visas to citizens of Belarus carries clear political undertones, Lavrov added.

"I think the political undertone is obvious to everyone here," Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Egyptian counterpart.

The US Embassy in Moscow said in a statement Monday that Belarusians would no longer be able to apply for visas at the US Embassy in Moscow or the Consulate in St. Petersburg.

The embassy said it would reschedule non-immigrant visa appointments for those Belarusians who have paid the application fee, and encouraged those who have not to reschedule appointments at US embassies in Warsaw, Kiev or Vilnius.

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