The U.S. Embassy in Russia has said it is still “too early” to say how large cuts in its staff will impact its consular operations and the issuing of visas for Russian citizens.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced on Friday it was ordering cuts to U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia to 455 employees by September, in response to a move by U.S. Congress to codify sanctions against Russia. The White House said on Friday President Donald Trump would sign the law.
In a televised broadcast, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday 755 U.S. diplomats in Russia would lose their status.
Following the announcement, Michael McFaul, the former Ambassador to Russia under the Obama administration, said on Twitter: “Russian citizens will be hit hardest by smaller U.S. staff at the embassy,” adding wait times would “increase dramatically.”