MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. The US cannot increase its diplomatic presence in Russia since American diplomats cannot receive Russian visas, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said in an interview with RBC published on Sunday.
According to the envoy, the US can send more diplomats to Russia only if the Russian government issues them visas, yet so far they haven’t been obtained.
On Friday, a representative of the US Department of State told TASS that over the recent days, the US and Russia have achieved progress on bilateral issues concerning diplomatic visas.
Earlier, in response to anti-Russian sanctions declared by Washington and yet another round of expelling Russian diplomats, Moscow introduced a ban on hiring Russian and third-country citizens by the US Embassy in Russia. The US Embassy in Moscow announced that beginning on May 12, it would reduce consular services, along with suspending the issuance of non-diplomatic visas. The issuance of diplomatic visas has slowed down as well. Since August 1, the US Embassy in Russia has been operating with a skeleton staff of 120 employees.