Moscow [Russia], October 24 (ANI/Sputnik): The United States has turned the standard technical procedure for issuing visas into "real hell" in violation of its own ideals of freedom, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Sunday, commenting on Washington's decision to include Russians into the category of "homeless nationalities."
"Mockery on the verge of sadism" is how the spokeswoman described the US Department of State's decision to include Russian citizens applying for an American visa to the Homeless Nationalities category. "Homeless" applicants are those referred to neighboring countries when their own state does not have a US consular mission, or the political situation there is so unstable that it does not allow American diplomats to process visa applications.
Apart from Russia, the list includes nine other countries, including Cuba, Iran, and Syria.
Over the weekend, the US Department of State included Russian citizens applying for an American visa to the Homeless Nationalities category, which includes applicants from countries where the US does not have a consular mission, or the political situation is so unstable that it does not allow American diplomats to process visa applications. Such applicants are assigned to the consulate of neighboring countries.
In total, this list includes 10 states, including Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, and Iran. Now, Russians can apply for an American visa in Warsaw.
"I saw that the State Department has included Russians who are ready to apply for a visa to the United States into the category of 'homeless nationalities' ... They have turned a technical procedure that is banal for the 21st century into real hell. It is mockery on the verge of sadism," Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
The spokeswoman noted that something important broke down in the US State Department long ago, and it cannot be readily fixed.
"For many years, American diplomats were destroying the system of rendering consular services in Russia that they did not create in the first place. They closed down consulates, reduced the number of consular staff, experimented with how our symmetrical response differs from the mirror one. Didn't it occur to any of the apologists of this dirty strategy that they have been destroying their own ideals of freedom?" Zakharova said.
Such actions not only affect tourism and cultural exchange, but also violate the right of people to freedom of movement and disrupt relations within multinational families, the spokeswoman added.
Since mid-May, the US Embassy in Moscow has suspended all non-diplomatic non-immigrant visa services in response to a decision by the Russian authorities to ban the hiring of local and foreign personnel. The provision of consular services by American diplomats at the consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok has also been suspended. (ANI/Sputnik)