MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day the US embassy announced that non-immigrant visa processing would be suspended on Wednesday, August 23.
"We believe this to be evidence of Washington’s attitude for further forced deterioration of relations with Moscow. We shall speak of this on all parliamentary platforms, including international ones. We shall speak of the irrationality of such approach," Slutsky said as quoted by the Russian State Duma’s social media page.
"The initiative of further deterioration — whether it is the expulsion of the Russian diplomats, or the 'amputation' of our diplomatic property or limitation of places issuing visas — always comes from the US side,'' the official added.
According to Slutsky, Monday's move of Washington will harm the interests of the Russians either having relatives in the United States or having contacts with this country in the areas related to business as well as civil society.
The Russian Foreign Ministry on July 28 suspended the use of all US Embassy warehouses and its compound in Moscow and also offered the US to cut down the number of its diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 people by September 1. The move came amid a new US anti-Russia sanctions bill and follows a series of restriction measures imposed by Washington since 2014. It is similar to Washington's decision to expel 35 Russian diplomats and suspend the use of diplomatic assets by Moscow in late 2016.
On July 30, President Vladimir Putin said the US would have to cut its diplomatic presence by 755 people.
Despite several attempts to normalize ties, both Russian and US officials have recently called the bilateral relations worst in decades.