POLITICS

US orders 24 Russian diplomats to leave country by September 3, says Russian envoy

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The US has directed at least 24 Russian diplomats to leave the country by September 3 citing visa expiration, the Russian ambassador to the US informed.

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IMAGE: AP


The United States has directed at least 24 Russian diplomats to leave the country by September 3 citing visa expiration, the Russian ambassador to the US informed on August 1. As per news agency ANI, approximately all Russian diplomats will leave the country without any replacements as Washington decided ‘abruptly’ to make the visa issuing procedures more strict. Russian envoy Anatoly Antonov said that they received the list of all 24 diplomats who are expected to leave the United States because Washington “unilaterally” established a three-year limit on Russian citizens in the country.

“We have received a list of twenty-four diplomats who are expected to leave the country before September 3, 2021, last December the US State Department unilaterally established a three-year limit on the assignment period for Russian personnel in the United States that, as far as we know, is not applied to any other country,” Antonov said as per ANI.

US State Department responded to Antonov

Russian ambassador to the US’ remarks came during an interview with the Washington-based The National Interest and prompted a response by US State Department spokesperson Ned Price. The US official said that Antonov’s “characterization of the situation is not accurate. It’s incorrect.” Price also said that the three-year limit on visa validity for Russian nationals is “nothing new” and noted that they have to apply for an extension.

“It is unfortunate because these measures have a negative impact on the US Mission to Russia’s operation, potentially on the safety and security of our personnel, as well as our ability to engage in diplomacy with the Russian government,” Price told reporters.

“I will say that we reserve the right to take appropriate response measures to Russia’s actions…The three-year limit on visa validity for Russians, it’s nothing new. When visas expire, these individuals are expected to leave the country or apply for an extension,” Price informed.

Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in April that a complete ban on the US diplomatic missions from hiring citizens of Russia or third countries to administrative and technical posts. It was reportedly in response to the US sanctions and expulsion of Russian diplomats. While Price described the past actions as a “response to the Russian government’s harmful actions,” he also said that the United States valued the “open channels of communications.” 

IMAGE: AP

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