MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Russian diplomatic missions in the United States continue to work routinely, despite the growing pressure from the US authorities, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.
"Despite the permanently growing pressure from the American authorities, the remaining Russian consulates general in Houston and New York City, as well as the Russian embassy’s consular department in Washington continue to work full-time, as does the US diplomatic mission in Moscow," she said. "We will continue to provide necessary consular services, despite the unfavorable circumstances, as long as we have even the slightest possibility for that."
She stressed that it was the US side’s "sovereign decision to freeze its consulate general in Yekaterinburg and the consulate general in Vladivostok, which, naturally, had an adverse impact on consular service not only to Russian but also to US nationals." "Anyway, whichever reasons Washington was guided by, it is wrong to pass blame and explain this step by Russia’s ban on hiring local personnel," Zakharova said.
According to the Russian diplomat, it was Washington to unleash a long visa war when it illegally seized Russian diplomatic property in the United States and closed Russian consulates general in Seattle and San Francisco.
The US mission said on its official Instagram account on May 17 that US Consul General in Yekaterinburg Amy Storrow was leaving her office. She expressed the hope for the resumption of the Yekaterinburg mission’s full-scale operation the soonest possible. Later, the consulate general announced staff reduction.