US fears shutdown of the embassy in Moscow | News from Germany about events in the world | DW

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The US Embassy in Russia, due to current restrictions, may be forced to reduce its work to performing only technical functions. This was announced at a briefing on Wednesday, October 28, by a State Department official.

According to the official, quoted by Reuters and AFP, the staff of the American embassy in Moscow has been cut from 1,200 at the beginning of 2017 to 120 at the moment. The embassy lacks staff to perform basic tasks such as opening and closing gates, securing phone calls or operating elevators.

“We will face a situation, not next month, but sometime next year, when it will just be difficult for us to do something other than looking after the embassy building,” he said.

Reduction of the US diplomatic mission in the Russian Federation

In early July, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan announced that 120 employees will continue to work at the American Embassy in Moscow after August 1, thus the embassy’s staff “will be one-tenth of what it was five years ago, in 2016” when 1200 people worked there.

The reduction in the staff of the US diplomatic mission in Moscow is connected with the decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin of April 23, prohibiting, in particular, the hiring of Russians and citizens of third countries to diplomatic missions of “unfriendly” states, which later included the United States and the Czech Republic.

In connection with this ban, the US Embassy announced that it would practically stop providing consular services, in particular, it would stop issuing non-immigrant visas for non-diplomats.

In 2017, Putin ordered U.S. diplomatic missions in Russia to cut their staff by 755 in response to sanctions imposed by the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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