MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The New York Times newspaper reported Monday, citing an employee of a company that helps Russian nationals get US visas, that the number of rejections had increased after Russia’s introduction of countermeasures with respect to the United States.
"We have seen numerous media reports that attempt to analyze the impact of staff reductions at the U.S. Embassy and consulates in Russia. It is much too early to guess how reductions might affect consular operations but it’s certainly possible that it could reduce them. However, allegations that the United States Mission has deliberately increased visa refusals are false," embassy spokeswoman Maria Olsen told RIA Novosti.
Six days after the House approved an anti-Russian sanctions package on July 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Sunday that the diplomatic presence of the United States in Russia would be cut by 755 people to 455, the same number of diplomatic personnel that Russia currently has in the US.
On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump will soon sign into law the new legislation that enhances US sanctions against Russia. It passed by overwhelming majorities of 419 to 3 in the House of Representatives and by 98 to two in the Senate.