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U.S. scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staff

05:18 EDT 21 Aug 2017 | Yahoo News

U.S. scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staffBy Andrew Osborn and Polina Devitt MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States began to sharply scale back its visa services in Russia on Monday, drawing an angry reaction from Moscow, three weeks after President Vladimir Putin ordered Washington to more than halve its embassy and consular staff. The move, which will hit business travelers, tourists and students, was the latest in a series of bilateral measures that have driven relations to a new post-Cold War low, thwarting hopes on both sides that they might improve after President Donald Trump took office in January. The U.S. embassy said it was suspending all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia on Wednesday and that when they resumed, on Sept. 1, they would be offered "on a greatly reduced scale." Beginning Monday, it would be cancelling an unspecified number of appointments and asking applicants to reschedule, it said in a statement.


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