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    This photo taken on May 7, 2013 shows Russian and the US flags running up as the US Secretary of State arrives at Moscow Vnukovo Airport

    New US Sanctions Will Not Impede Visa-Granting to Russian Citizens - Kislyak

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    Former Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak does not think that the process of getting US visas will be hampered by the newly imposed anti-Russian sanctions.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Former Russian Ambassador in the United States Sergey Kislyak, who has just finished his mission, said he could see no connection between economic aspect of the newly imposed US sanctions against Russia and the time period needed to issue US visas to Russian citizens.

    "I see no direct connection between the economic part of the sanctions and visas. Our US colleagues are starting to intimidate us by saying that because of our decision to reduce the US diplomatic presence to the level we have in the United States the situation with visas for Russian citizens will become more complicated … You know, that does not sound convincing to me," Kislyak told the Russian Rossiya 24 broadcaster.

    According to official statistics, the United States has issued some 160,000 visas to Russian citizens in 2016.

    "However, our media say that European embassies that operate with far less diplomats issue two or three times more visas," Kislyak said, adding that if the United States takes development of relations between Russian and US citizens seriously, it "could easily provide issuance of all visas on time with the personnel they have under new norms."

    In late July, Russia responded with calling on the United States to cut down the number of diplomats and technical staff of diplomatic missions in Russia to 455 people, on par with Russia's diplomatic representation in the United States, by September 1. On Monday, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said that because of this decision, Russian citizens applying for US visas would have to wait for weeks, if not months.

    Russia’s decision came as response to US expelling 35 Russian diplomats in December 2016, as well as banning access for Russia to two of its diplomatic compounds.

    Topic:
    New US Sanctions Law Against Russia, Iran, N Korea Signed: Consequences (89)

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    visa regime, anti-Russian sanctions, Sergei Kislyak, United States, Russia
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