In a diplomatic tit-for-tat, Russian President Vladimir Putin last week declared a new ‘unfriendly country’ list and severely limited for those on the list embassy hiring of Russian citizens. Due to this new policy, the US facilities in Russia will completely end the processing of non-immigrant, non-diplomatic travel due to lack of staff. In other words, no more tourist visas for Russians to the United States.
Hundreds of Russian nationals in the Russian Federation will lose their jobs at US facilities.
The measures come in response to the Biden administration’s new sanctions in Russia for alleged election tampering and cyber attacks.
The Russian government will soon publish a list of “unfriendly states” in accordance with the presidential decree signed on April 23. According to Izvestia, about ten countries are likely to make it to the list, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Czech Republic, Canada and the Baltic States. According to the decree, the diplomatic missions of those states will be unable to hire Russian staff. The Russian parliament told Izvestia that the new blacklist will not come as a surprise, as all countries included on the list have been conducting an anti-Russian policy for a while, reported Russian state news agency TASS.
“The list hasn’t been finalized yet, [but] work is underway. No one will just brand someone “unfriendly” for nothing. The way these counteractive measures will work is also currently being discussed. There may be a full ban on hiring Russian citizens to those diplomatic missions,” the source explained.
The U.S. Embassy in Moscow said Friday it will cut most visa services for Russians and eliminate non-emergency consular services for Americans from next month following Moscow’s hiring ban on “unfriendly” countries. The move means 75% of consular staff will lose their jobs, reported The Moscow Times.
“We regret that the actions of the Russian government have forced us to reduce our consular work force by 75%, and will endeavor to offer to U.S. citizens as many services as possible,” the Embassy said.
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