MOSCOW, December 6. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has warned about possible delays in the provision of consular services in Germany following the closure of the Russian Consulate General in Frankfurt am Main.
"Given the limited staff at foreign institutions against the backdrop of a large diaspora of Russians living in Germany, we cannot rule out some increase in wait times to see a consul at initial stages," the Russian diplomatic mission's consular department said in a message on its Telegram channel. It stresses that measures "aimed at optimizing the work on consular services under new conditions" are currently being taken.
In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry recommended that citizens review the rules for submitting documents for consular services on the websites of foreign consular offices, as well as carefully prepare the documents to be submitted and send them through specialized consular portals in advance.
"This approach will avoid repeated applications to the consul on the same issue, will reduce wait times at reception and will significantly speed up the processing of required documents when visiting the consulate in person," the report says.
Closure of consulates general
Russian consulates general in Hamburg and Leipzig were closed earlier this year - on November 1, and in Munich - on November 20. As the Foreign Ministry explained, the consular districts of the closed consular offices became part of the Russian Embassy in Berlin (former consulates general in Hamburg and Leipzig) and the Russian Consulate General in Bonn (former consulates general in Munich and Frankfurt am Main).
"We would like to emphasize that the current legislation does not restrict citizens in choosing a consular office by linking their place of residence to the consular district of a particular foreign consular office," the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out. "A Russian citizen may apply for the required consular document (passport, power of attorney, civil registry certificate, etc.) to any consular office convenient for him, including those in neighboring countries."
The ministry said earlier that Germany had closed the consulates general in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kaliningrad on its own initiative in a move to disrupt Russian-German relations. In May, Berlin notified Moscow of the need to shut down four of the five Russian consulates general in Germany by the end of the year.