MOSCOW, April 30. /TASS/. The US Embassy’s decision to suspend consular services in Russia on May 12 is a display inefficiency of US diplomatic services, Russian Foreign Ministry said in its statement published in social media Friday.
"At the first glance, the decision announced by the US Embassy to suspend consular services in Russia since May 12 looks like a display of antiquity and inefficiency of US consular and diplomatic services. They mentioned the forced reduction of local personnel as their reason. It would have been much easier to say: we don’t know how to work, and we do not want to," the Ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry reminded that visa service was provided with delays of many months even before, and applicants could expect an interview with the US consul up to one year. In this regard, the Foreign Ministry speculated that, in the recent years, the US diplomats were busy not with the diplomatic operations alone.
"In the context of reciprocal measures, taken by the Russian side in order to achieve parity in conditions of operation of the two diplomatic missions, nothing prevents Washington from staffing its embassy in Moscow. Without the 400 locally employed Russian citizens, the embassy is now staffed by 280 officially accredited people with diplomatic and service passports. Meanwhile, the quota for the US embassy is currently 455 people, which means it should not be a problem to compensate for the deficit and restore the proper consular service," the Ministry said.
On Friday, the US Embassy in Moscow announced that it will reduce the amount of provided consular services on May 12; in particular, it will stop reviewing applications for non-diplomatic visas.