The reason is that the number of staff working at the embassy has decreased due to the reciprocal retaliation measures between the US and Russia.
In a notice posted earlier on its website, the US Embassy said that from May 12, it stopped providing regular services for US citizens such as short-term passport renewal and only processing applications. apply for a new visa in “life-related” emergencies.
Under the new sanctions imposed by Russia on the US, US diplomatic missions in Russia are not allowed to hire non-US citizens, forcing the US Embassy to cut its consular staff by 75%.
Russia-US relations are declining, with Washington accusing the Kremlin of meddling in the US election, carrying out large-scale cyber attacks and other activities. Moscow denies these allegations.
In April, the US announced a new set of sanctions, including the expulsion of 10 diplomats and restricting American banks from doing business with the Russian government. In response, Russia expelled 10 US diplomats, banned high-ranking US officials from entering, and banned the US embassy from hiring foreign staff.
However, the two governments are discussing plans to hold a summit between US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.