US halts consular companies in Russia after diplomatic row

The US embassy and the nationwide flag are seen in Moscow, Russia.

MOSCOW: The US embassy in Moscow from Wednesday suspended most consular companies to its nationals and stopped issuing visas as a consequence of a drastic discount of its workers following tit-for-tat sanctions.
In a press release posted earlier on its web site, the embassy mentioned it will from Could 12 cease providing routine companies to US residents together with passport renewals “for the forseeable future” and solely course of new visa purposes in “life-or-death emergencies”.
Russia earlier this yr banned US diplomatic missions from using non-Individuals, forcing the embassy to cut back its “consular workforce by 75 p.c”.
Russia-US relations have been in tatters with Washington accusing the Kremlin of interference in US elections, a large cyber assault and different hostile exercise.
Joe Biden has elevated strain on Moscow since changing into US president, and feedback he made likening Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to a killer have been met with fierce criticism in Moscow.
Washington in April introduced a brand new spherical of sanctions together with the expulsion of 10 diplomats and a restriction on US banks buying and selling in Russian authorities debt.
Moscow responded by expelling 10 US diplomats, banning high US officers from coming into the nation and prohibiting the US embassy from using international nationals.
Moscow and Washington are nonetheless discussing a doable summit between Biden and Putin in June hosted by a 3rd nation.


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