Russian diplomats must either leave the country or request a visa extension, each such request will be considered on an individual basis, State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters at a briefing with reporters.
He noted that “there is nothing new” in the fact that Russians have to apply for a visa extension after three years.
“When the visa ends, we expect these individuals to leave the country or apply for an extension,” Price said.
He also called the description of the situation with expiring visas by the Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov inaccurate.
Earlier that day, the Russian ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antonov, announced that the United States ordered 24 diplomatic personnel to leave the country by September 3. The ambassador said that almost all of them will leave without replacement, as Washington has suddenly tightened the procedure for issuing visas.
Also, the US authorities “without explaining the reasons” began to abolish the visas of the spouses and children of diplomats, Antonov said.
“Widespread delays in the extension of expired visas are also aimed at squeezing Russian diplomatic staff out of the country,” the ambassador said.
Moscow has repeatedly spoken about the difficulties in obtaining American visas by Russians, including diplomats.
On April 15, American President Joe Biden introduced yet another anti-Russian sanctions. In addition, the United States expelled 10 Russian diplomats. Moscow responded to this in a mirror image.
On April 16, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted that the Russian side was launching a procedure to end the practice of hiring Russians and third-country nationals by American diplomatic missions in the country.