Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Stafft: The US did not restrict the issuance of visas to Russians According to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Julie Stafft, Russian citizens can apply for a visa at any American embassy around the world
The United States did not restrict the issuance of visas to Russians, said at a briefing foreign journalists, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Julie Stafft, quoted by TASS.
“Russians <…> can actually go to any [US] embassy in the world to apply [for a visa]. <…> It happens every day, — said Stafft, who oversees US visa issues at the State Department. This is how she commented on Ukraine's call to stop issuing visas to Russian citizens.
The official recalled that the US Embassy in Russia is currently not accepting applications for visas due to restrictions. Last year, in response to U.S. sanctions and yet another expulsion of diplomats, Moscow imposed restrictions on the employment of citizens of Russia and other countries by the American embassy. The US Embassy, in turn, has reduced the number of consular services provided.
August 9, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an interview with The Washington Post, called on the West to ban all Russians from entering. He suggested “holding the entire population accountable” Russia, isolating him. Russians should “live in their own world until they change their philosophy,” the Ukrainian leader is convinced.
The press secretary of the Russian president, Dmitry Peskov, commenting on Zelensky's proposal, said that such initiatives “do not have a very good odor either.” In his opinion, the irrationality in the thinking of the Ukrainian side “goes off scale”.
German government spokesman Steffen Hebeshtreit said on August 10 that the EU is discussing the initiative of a number of European countries on visa restrictions for Russians. Earlier, in particular, Belgium, Poland, and Estonia called for a ban on issuing visas to Russian citizens. The issuance of tourist visas has already been suspended by the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
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The EU Visa Code does not provide for a complete ban on the issuance of short-term visas, including to Russians. There are categories of persons to whom they need to be issued, for example, family members, journalists, dissidents, the European Commission stated, leaving the decision on a particular visa application to the countries themselves.
Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul proposed introducing for Russians who receive a visa, a special tax for the restoration of Ukraine. In response, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, asked him how many US citizens pay such fees for the restoration of Iraq or Belgrade.
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