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Amidst diplomatic tussle, Russia slams US Visa crackdown

Posted on September 16, 2017
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Russia slams US Visa crackdown

Russia has slammed the US Visa crackdown amidst the diplomatic tussle after the US has made it mandatory for its nationals to get their visas for the US processed at Moscow. Russian US Embassy had released a statement that all non immigrant visas will only be available in Moscow. This includes the visa for executives and managers – L-1A, visa for expert knowledge workers – L-1B, and visa for expert workers – H-1B. These visas were earlier available at the three Russian US Consulates.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described the US Visa crackdown as an effort inciting discontent among nationals of Russia towards their own government. In July 2017 Moscow had instructed the US to take out 755 diplomatic staff. US responded by saying that the instruction to decrease staff members at Embassies implies that US Consulates would no more offer non-immigrant visas indefinitely. Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg, and St Petersburg have US Consulates, as quoted by the Workpermit.

The BBC report had said that most of the 755 US Consulate staff that was removed was recruited locally from Russia. This meant that they would not be required to leave the nation. Responding to the US Visa crackdown, Russia said that it was just asking the US to have an equal number of staff on par with the Russian consulates in the US.

The diplomatic tussle between US and Russia began after Kremlin occupied the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine in 2014. The report of the BBC states that the reference to color revolutions by Kremlin has a particular reference. Russia believes that the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia and Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004 were due to US interference. The former Soviet republics came under the rule of pro-western leaders after them.

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