MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Foreign Ministry criticized on Tuesday the work of US visa departments in Russia.
"While, for example, 16 Italian consular employees processed 478,000 visa requests last year, and five of their Spanish colleagues-diplomats issued 877,000 visas to Russians, the personnel of US consulates, several-fold more, were only able to cope with about 186,000. Facts are stubborn things," the ministry said.The US Embassy in Russia has said that from August 23 it will suspend for an indefinite period the procedure for issuing non-immigrant US visas all over Russia. On September 1 the procedure will resume, but only in Moscow. Washington explained the move by Russia's reduction of the number of US diplomatic mission employees.
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 US. The Kremlin said it was a response to new US anti-Russian sanctions.