MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United States' decision to restrict issuing US visas for Russian citizens might hint at Washington's disapproval of contacts between Russians and US citizens, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.
"If the contacts with holders of Russian passports are so toxic, so much so that they are intolerable, [US authorities] should just simply say so. Possibly, this approach is reflected in the decision of the US diplomatic mission and the State Department to restrict the possibility of Russian passport holders to get US visas," Ryabkov told Chinese and Japanese media outlets in an interview.
In late July, Moscow announced 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 United States. The Kremlin said it was a response to the 2016 expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctions passed by the US Congress in July.