Zakharova accused USA of ‘genocide’ of Russians because of visa restrictions


Official representative of Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova criticized the actions of the U.S. authorities, which complicated the procedure for obtaining visas.

“This is some sort of genocide of ordinary people,” Zakharova said in an interview with the television channel Dozhd (“The Rain” – RRT).

She noted that the U.S. authorities started tightening visa procedures for Russian citizens long before Moscow demanded to reduce the staff of the American diplomatic mission in Russia.

According to Zakharova, the period of processing applications for American visas was increased from 10 to 50 days 4-5 months ago.

Last week it became known about the decision of the U.S. to suspend the issuance of non-immigrant visas all over Russia starting from August 23rd. The terms of issuing immigrant visas were changed too. The procedure for issuing visas will be resumed on September 1st, but only in Moscow: U.S. consulates in other Russian cities suspended the processing of documents for an indefinite period.

Earlier, Russia announced retaliatory measures for new sanctions by the U.S., prescribing to reduce the staff of the American embassy to 455 employees, cutting it by 755 people, in order to equalize the headcount with the number of the Russian diplomatic mission in the United States.