MOSCOW, March 29. /TASS/. The US embassy cannot accommodate all the Russian Foreign Ministry’s requests, Spokesperson at the US embassy Maria Olson told TASS, commenting on the non-issuance of visas to Russian wrestlers ahead of the Freestyle Wrestling World Cup set to be held in Iowa City on April 5-9.
"We have accommodated MFA’s requests many times even despite the significant constraints Russia placed on the US Mission. We cannot accommodate all their many requests at all times, particularly for large groups," she said.
"We call on the Russian side to engage constructively with us on consular issues, including scheduling the bilateral consular dialogue, which Russia failed to do during 2017 when it was Russia’s side to host," Olson added. According to her, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman "falsely claimed that the United States requested to delay the 2017 round of the talks. The truth is that Russia never presented proposed dates to hold the talks."
"As Ambassador Huntsman has said many times, we want Russians to travel to the United States, experience our culture firsthand, study at our universities, and do business with US companies. This people-to-people diplomacy of everyday citizens helps strengthen relations between our countries, something that we need more now than ever," the US embassy spokesperson noted.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier expressed indignation over "the US embassy’s refusal to arrange visa interviews for the Russian team members." She said that although the Foreign Ministry had placed a relevant request in late February, "the Americans delayed the process as much as they could and have recently provided a noncommittal response citing the lack of staff.".