The actions of the United States on the issue of the work of diplomats are at variance with the agreements reached at the summit in Geneva. This opinion was expressed on Tuesday, August 3, by the head of the international committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Leonid Slutsky.
Thus, the politician commented on the message of the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, that the United States called on 24 Russian diplomats with expiring visas to leave the country. At the same time, State Department spokesman Ned Price said that Russian diplomats who worked in the United States for three years must either leave the country or apply for a visa extension.
“From Washington’s side, this is an elementary manipulation! All this is at odds with the agreements that were reached during the summit of the leaders of the countries in Geneva, ”Slutsky wrote on his page on the social network“ Vkontakte ”.
According to him, in the situation with Russian diplomats, the US State Department is engaged in “an open substitution of concepts.” So, according to Slutsky, this is not about ensuring a balance of work, as Price said, but about “blatant disrespect for diplomatic norms.”
“Washington should stop pressure on the diplomatic corps, this situation needs to be improved as soon as possible. Otherwise, the statements of the American side about the need to maintain communication channels will remain only on paper, ”added the head of the international committee of the State Duma.
The day before, Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov noted that Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the States before September 3. According to the ambassador, almost all of them will leave without replacement, since Washington has suddenly tightened the procedure for issuing visas.
A day later, Antonov said that the proposal of the Russian side to nullify restrictions on the activities of foreign missions of Russia and the United States had not been heard by the American authorities. He noted that if the States are not ready for this, then the Russian Federation proposes to use tactics of small steps, in particular, the exclusion of certain categories of employees from visa exchanges and an agreement on a one-year extension of expired visas for diplomats.
Also on August 3, the director of the Franklin Roosevelt Foundation for the Study of the United States (Moscow State University), Yuri Rogulev, told Izvestia that the “visa war” between Russia and the United States began at the initiative of Washington, while the American authorities considered this as a variant of sanctions pressure, but the Russian Federation began to respond to these actions.