Russia: US suspends non-immigrant visas

Source: NBC News

“The United States said Monday it has been forced to suspend nonimmigrant visas in Russia because President Vladimir Putin ordered it to cut hundreds of diplomatic staff. The U.S. Mission to Russia said it was forced to cancel all appointments in Moscow between Wednesday and Sept. 1 because of reduced staffing levels. … The U.S. said it was forced to make the move after Putin ordered American diplomatic staff to be cut by 755 last month. This was itself a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions brought against Russia for its alleged cyberhacking and military involvements in Ukraine and Syria. On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected the U.S. explanation that it was forced to suspend visas because of reduced staffing levels. ‘The decision is politically motivated,’ he told a press conference in Moscow.” (08/21/17)