The United States no longer issues immigrant visas to Russia. Russians who wish to obtain a US visa must henceforth travel to Warsaw, Poland. According to the Americans, there was no other solution, since the Russian authorities make the provision of consular services impossible.
“We will not book any new appointments in Moscow to obtain immigrant visas for Russians,” a State Department spokesperson confirmed. The Moscow Times reports that visa applications must be submitted at the US Embassy in Warsaw, more than 1,100 kilometers from Moscow.
The Americans added Russia to the list of countries where there is no consular representation of the United States or where the political or security situation prevents employees from issuing visas. Only ten countries are on the list, including Cuba, Iran, Syria and Venezuela.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, blamed the entire US visa change on the United States. She says US diplomats have been “destroying” consular services in Russia for some time, turning routine technical procedures “into a real hell”.
However, according to the US authorities, the change is the result of new Russian regulations. Only Americans are allowed to work at the embassy. Russians or people of other nationalities are no longer allowed to work in the diplomatic post. As a result, the embassy had to put dozens of local employees on the street, she said. Ordinary work visas can no longer be issued in May. Now it is also about immigrant visas.
A ministry spokesman admitted that moving to Warsaw, which took effect this month, was “not an ideal solution”. “We recognize that this has a significant impact on visa applicants,” the statement said. Applicants for a Russian visa are also advised not to travel to Warsaw before making an appointment with the embassy there.
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