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Ambassador accuses UK of "squeezing" Russian diplomats out of the country

August 04, 2015, 16:01 UTC+3 LONDON
The list of Russian embassy staffers waiting for the British visa is three times longer than the respective list of British embassy staffers going to Russia
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A sign on the wall at the entrance to the Russian Embassy in London (archive)

A sign on the wall at the entrance to the Russian Embassy in London (archive)

© AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

LONDON, August 4. /TASS/. Russia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexander Yakovenko has accused Great Britain of "squeezing" Russian diplomats out of the country through chicanery, delaying the issuing of visas for Russian diplomats.

This practice "is out of keeping with international commitments" of the country, the diplomat wrote in Twitter, saying the number of embassy staffers was reducing as a result.

"One can get the impression that the British side has concentrated on artificially creating difficulties in our activity in violation of its commitments under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961," an embassy source told TASS in earlier comments.

Explaining the situation, the source said that London, not only its Foreign Office but also the Home Office, is delaying by five to six months the issuing of visas for new embassy staffers, adding that this practice involved diplomats of "any level".

As a result, the list of Russian embassy staffers waiting for the British visa is three times longer than the respective list of British embassy staffers going to Russia.

"In addition, also in defiance of their international commitments, the British side has started establishing deadlines for the work of staffers of our foreign missions in Great Britain, in other words threatening to expel them," the diplomat said, noting that the UK related normalization of the situation to the settlement in Ukraine and urging Moscow return moves in that "serious" situation.

The London-established maximum length of the visa for Russian diplomats is five years, TASS has learned.

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