The Russian government has announced its intent to postpone the enforcement of a ban on the U.S. embassy hiring foreign nationals, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow reported on May 14, adding that it would temporarily resume routine consular services for U.S. citizens through June 16.
The ban on hiring foreign staff will have a significant impact on the work of the American embassy. Last month, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Russia announced that it was suspending the processing of all non-immigrant visas, with the exception of diplomatic ones. The embassy warned that it could face difficulties providing services for U.S. citizens, including passport services and processing reports of birth abroad.
The U.S. embassy and consulates in Russia employ 450 people, according to the newspaper Kommersant — how many of them are Russian citizens is unknown, but it’s assumed to be dozens of employees. The United States hires nearly all of the administrative and technical personnel for its diplomatic missions abroad from the host country.
Russia announced the ban on the U.S. embassy hiring foreign staff against the backdrop of worsening bilateral relations. Also last month, both Moscow and Washington decided to expel 10 of each other’s diplomats.
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