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U.S. sharply scales back visa services in Russia after diplomatic row

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U.S. sharply scales back visa services in Russia after diplomatic row

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – The United States said on Monday it was sharply scaling back its visa services in Russia after Moscow cut the number of its diplomatic staff in retaliation over new U.S. sanctions. The U.S. embassy in Russia said in a statement it was suspending all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia on Aug. 23 and that they would resume on Sept. 1 “on a greatly reduced scale.” The move means Russian citizens wanting to visit the United States for tourism will have to travel to Moscow and will no longer be able to use local U.S. consulates outside the Russian capital. Russian President Vladimir Putin, reacting to new sanctions imposed by the U.S. Congress, has ordered Washington to cut its diplomatic and technical staff in Russia by 755 people by Sept. 1.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)
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