ST. PETERSBURG, August 24. /TASS/. Russia has the right to retaliatory visa restrictions against the US, but it should rise above this situation, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko told reporters on Thursday.
"I believe that we should not let the surge of sanctions and confrontation spiral out of control. ‘Eye for eye’ is not always necessary. Of course, there is accepted international practice, and Russia has the right to respond to any hostile rhetoric. But it is sometimes necessary to rise above it and not get involved in the provocative measures that the United States of America pronounces step by step," the lawmaker said.
She noted that "restriction in visa issuance is restriction of the possibility to visit the United States of America and learn American life, as well as of business, cultural and sports contacts."
"They have already intruded upon the sacred - on communication between people, on the possibility for people of the 21st century to talk to each other and visit each other. This is sheer barbarity and looks just provocative," the Federation Council speaker said.
The US Embassy to Russia stated earlier that it would suspend the procedure for US visa issuance across Russia starting from August 23. The procedure will be renewed on September 1 for Moscow. Non-immigrant visa appointments in the US consulates general in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok will be suspended until further notice. Besides, the embassy will not return paid consular charges to Russians who filed visa applications.