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Moscow condemns US move to call Russians “homeless” for visa purposes

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Russia has placed the United States on its list of “unfriendly” countries (File)

Moscow:

Russia on Sunday denounced the United States’ decision to add Russians seeking US visas to a list of “homeless citizens” who can apply for visas in third countries.

The move allowed Russians to apply for US visas in Warsaw instead of their home country after the US embassy stopped processing most visa applications in May due to Moscow’s ban on employing embassy staff in Russia .

The US State Department lists applicants as “homeless” from countries in which the United States has no consular representation, or where consular employees cannot issue visas due to a political or security situation.

Russia became the 10th country on the list after Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

“US diplomats have been destroying the system of consular services in Russia for many years…” Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote on social media.

“They have turned a technological process, a routine process for the 21st century, into a real hell.”

With relations already at a low in post-Cold War ties, Russia and the United States are at odds over the number of diplomats in each other’s capitals, and this month failed to make progress in talks.

In addition, Russia has placed the United States on a list of “unfriendly” countries that must seek approval to employ Russian citizens – and has set the US quota to zero.

In the talks, Moscow said it was ready to lift all restrictions imposed in recent years, and Washington said it wanted parity on the number of diplomatic staff and visa reciprocity.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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