21:43 GMT +322 April 2018
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    A general view taken on July 31, 2017 shows the US embassy building in Moscow. President Vladimir Putin on July 30, 2017

    Moscow Outraged By US Refusal to Process Visas for Russian Wrestling Team

    © AFP 2018 / Mladen ANTONOV
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    The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that international sport events should not be held in the US, as the Americans are "playing dirty."

    "The refusal of the US Embassy in Moscow to organize visa interviews for the Russian national freestyle wrestling team, which is to take part in the World Cup on April 5-9 in Iowa City, is extremely outrageous," Zakharova said, pointing out that the request was sent by the Russian Foreign Ministry in late February but the refusal was announced by the US Embassy only a month later.

    The spokeswoman called the move an attempt to block Russian athletes from competing in international sports events.

    "We regard the US actions as another obvious example of preventing participation of Russian athletes in international competitions… We expect that the world sports community will pay attention to this blatant move. It is impossible to conduct international sports events in the United States — they play unfairly," Zakharova added.

    READ MORE: Skripal Acquaintance Suggests Ex-Spy Poisoning May Be Linked to Organized Crime

    The US refusal to process visas for Russian athletes comes after Washington expressed solidarity with the UK on the issue of Skripal's poisoning and ordered the largest ever expulsion of Russian diplomats.

    On March 4, ex-Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter were left critically ill after they were attacked with a nerve agent in the UK’s Salisbury. The UK government claimed that the substance was developed in the Soviet Union and blamed the poisoning on Russia.

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    visas, embassy, athletes, Sergei Skripal, Russia, United States
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