ST. PETERSBURG, December 11. /TASS/. The start of US visa issuance in the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg following several months of suspension caused no stir among St. Petersburg dwellers: a little more than a dozen people came in the first hours of the visa center’s operation.
The visa issuance was suspended on August 23 due to downsizing of the US diplomatic and support staff in its missions in Russia at the decision of the Russian government (in response to ejection of 35 Russian diplomats from the US). The visa issuance was renewed in September, but only in Moscow, which caused long lines. On Monday, the issuance was renewed in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, causing a line in front the consulate general in Vladivostok, TASS reported earlier.
"There are no lines, and everything is quiet; we had to wait for about five minutes. I had many American visas before that; the last one has just expired. The interview lasted a minute precisely, and I was permitted [to receive] a new one: it will be delivered to my house within three days. Everything is well, everyone is amiable, and even the same people are working there, as far as I remember them," a St. Petersburg resident, Nikolay Samusev, told TASS.
Another embassy visitor, Alexander, said that visa issuance is as it was prior to the suspension, and the way the consulate general members are treating visitors is the same as before.
"Everything is quiet as before, and all is the same," he said.