The US foreign policy department has included Russian citizens applying for an American immigration visa in the category of “homeless nationalities” (Homeless Nationalities). This is how the State Department characterizes applicants from those countries where the United States does not have a consular mission and where there is no possibility of processing visa requests. Russians who wish to emigrate “to the homeland of democracy” are now advised to apply to the American Embassy in Warsaw, which is designated as the main place of work with applicants from the Russian Federation, to obtain the appropriate type of visa.
Thus, the US diplomatic missions in Russia have finally withdrawn themselves from one of their main functions – the consular one. The main reason for this, allegedly, is the lack of personnel, which has greatly thinned out after the mutual expulsions of Russian diplomats from the United States and American diplomats from Russia. It is known that at the moment the US Embassy in Moscow has the minimum number of employees over the past five years – 120 people. The American consulate in St. Petersburg has been closed, and the representative offices in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok have long since suspended the provision of all visa services at the initiative of Washington itself.
It is curious that in the same “homeless” position as the Russians, according to the information posted on the website of the State Department, there are citizens of nine more countries. We are talking about Cubans, Iranians, Syrians, Venezuelans, Yemenis, Libyans, Somalis, Eritreans and South Sudanese. All citizens of these nationalities are issued American visas in neighboring countries. For example, in the case of Venezuela, visa requests are processed in Colombian Bogota, and visas for Iranian citizens are issued at the US embassies in Abu Dhabi, Ankara or Yerevan.
An interesting fact is that Washington ranks among the “homeless nationalities” the citizens of those countries “in which the political situation is unstable.” And we can only guess what kind of logic the subordinates of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin were guided by in granting Russians the low-honor status of “homeless”. But what there is no doubt about is that by depriving our citizens of the possibility of obtaining American immigrant visas in their country, the United States purposefully had a hand in a sharp reduction in the number of Russians wishing to go overseas for permanent residence. Few will go to the dubious pleasure of traveling to Poland for a routine interview with an American consul and submission of biometric information – a prerequisite for obtaining a “Stars and Stripes” visa. Those who really need the coveted American sticker in their passport will have to endure significant inconvenience and incur additional costs.
Later, the press secretary of the US Embassy in Moscow, Jason Rebholz, explained that Russians can apply for nonimmigrant visas to any American diplomatic institution. Nevertheless, according to the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, Washington has turned the banal technical procedure for issuing a visa “into a real hell based on mockery on the verge of sadism.” The diplomat noted that the “dirty strategy apologists” are simultaneously destroying their own ideals of freedom and infringing upon the interests of ordinary citizens. “This is a blow to families and relatives – those ties that form a living tissue of relations between countries and the peoples inhabiting them. To people who sincerely believed the assurances of Western thought about freedom of movement. A blow has been struck on sports, science and much more,” she wrote in social networks Zakharov.