UPDATED 7:57 AM PT – Tuesday, August 3, 2021
The U.S. State Department is defending requirements for Russian diplomats to renew their visas after three years. On Monday, spokesperson Ned Price said the claims suggesting the U.S. is asking 24 Russian diplomats to leave the country when their visas expire in September in retaliation is incorrect.
His statement follows claims made by Russian diplomat Anatoly Antonov who said the move is due to tightening visa issuing procedures in the U.S. However, Price said this was not true.
“The three-year limit on visa validity for Russians is nothing new,” explained the State Department spokesperson. “When visas expire, as you might expect, these individuals are expected to leave the country or apply for an extension. That is what is at play here.”
The restrictions imposed by the Russian government severely impact the operations, safety, and security of our mission in Russia. We will follow through on our commitments while seeking a predictable and stable relationship with Russia. https://t.co/nt9jTYu7f1
— Ned Price (@StateDeptSpox) July 30, 2021
Price stressed the recent firing of more than 180 Russian nationals was based on an order from the Russian government mandating the U.S. could not retain or hire Russian or third country staff.