State Department spokeswoman Stafft said there are no restrictions on the issuance of US visas to Russians
Julie Stafft, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, said there were no restrictions on the issuance of US visas to Russians. Her words convey TASS.
For example, Russian citizens can apply for a visa at US missions around the world. At the same time, Stafft recalled that the US Embassy in Moscow is currently not accepting visa applications due to restrictions imposed by the Russian authorities on his work.
Russian citizens can make an appointment to apply for a visa of any category anywhere in the world. And they do it regularly, we welcome it
The representative of the State Department noted that the failure of the US authorities to return visa fees in case of disruption of interviews at US consular offices abroad is not a policy towards Russians. We are talking about the norms adopted by the American side that apply to all foreigners, she stressed.
The United States listed Russians seeking an American visa as the so-called “Homeless Nationalities” back in 2021. In this case, applicants are assigned to the consulate of one or more neighboring countries.
In Europe, they thought about the ban on issuing visas to Russians
German government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said that the European Union is discussing a new package of sanctions against Russia, including the termination of the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians. At the same time, the official representative of the European Commission (EC), Anita Hipper, argued that the EU does not have a single procedure for banning the issuance of short-term visas to foreigners.
Prior to this, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky made a call to ban the issuance of Schengen to Russians. According to the head of state, the citizens of Russia “should live in their own world until they change their philosophy.” “The most important sanctions are the closure of the borders, because the Russians are taking land that belongs to someone else,” he said. The President of Ukraine also clarified that such a measure should also apply to Russians who left the country in protest.
The idea of suspending the issuance of tourist visas to Russians was also supported by the largest parliamentary parties in Finland. At the same time, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that no changes in the visa policy are planned.
Later, the ban on the issuance of Schengen to Russians was supported by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky. According to the diplomat, such a measure could become another effective sanction. He stressed that in connection with Russia’s actions in Ukraine, “there can be no question of ordinary tourism for Russians.”
In the United States proposed to introduce an entry tax for Russians
Against the background of the discussion of EU sanctions on the ban on the issuance of Schengen visas to Russians, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul proposed introducing a special tax for Russians who want to enter the territory of Western countries. According to him, the funds from these fees should be transferred to the Fund for the Reconstruction of Ukraine.
In response, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova asked how much the United States is paying for the restoration of the countries they have destroyed. The diplomat also wondered when the administration of President Joe Biden plans to legislatively begin to restore justice after the “meat grinder arranged by the States” in other states.
I’m afraid to ask, how much do US citizens pay special taxes or additional fees for the reconstruction of Iraq? And Belgrade?
Sergei Tsekov, a member of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that Western countries would punish themselves by levying an additional tax on Russians for entry. According to him, many Russian citizens travel to Western countries for tourism purposes. “In principle, it all depends on the particular state – they can already set some kind of increased fee for obtaining a visa for Russian citizens. And they, in principle, are set up for this. But this, by and large, is all against the European Union, everyone is against them,” Tsekov stressed.
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