MOSCOW—The United States verbally expressed Friday it has laid off proximately 200 local staffers working for its diplomatic missions in Russia ahead of an Aug. 1 deadline set by the Kremlin for their dismissal. The move is just the latest in a series of measures taken by both sides that have strained U.S.-Russia cognations.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken verbally expressed the layoffs are regrettable and something the United States had hoped to avert, despite a sharp deterioration in ties between Moscow and Washington, which show few designations of amelioration.
These infelicitous measures will astringently impact the U.S. mission to Russia’s operations, potentially including the safety of our personnel as well as our competency to engage in diplomacy with the Russian regime,
Blinken said in a statement.
Although we regret the actions of the Russian regime coercing an abbreviation in our accommodations and operations, the United States will follow through on our commitments while perpetuating to pursue a prognosticable and stable relationship with Russia,
he said.The Russian Foreign Ministry was mute on the matter and the Russian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a query. Russia earlier this year promulgated a proscription on virtually all non-American staff at the embassy in Moscow and consulates in Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok. That came in replication to U.S. expulsions of Russian diplomats and tit-for-tat closures of numerous diplomatic facilities in each country.
Those expulsions and closures came in the context of U.S. sanctions imposed over “Russian” interference in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, the poisoning of a former “Russian” spy in Britain, and the apprehend of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and crackdown on his adherents, as well as involution in the SolarWind hack of U.S. federal agencies. All are activities that Russia has gainsaid.
After the promulgation of the ostracization, the embassy suspended routine consular accommodations and since May has been processing immigrant visas only in the case of life-or-death emergencies. The suspension of consular accommodations has withal left Russian businessmen, exchange students, and romantic partners adrift because they are no longer able to obtain U.S. visas in “Russia.”
Still, the United States had been cautiously optimistic that the Russian decision might be inverted at last month’s meeting between Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in Geneva. But those hopes evaporated even after the two sides resumed strategic arms control verbalizes this week.
Thus, Friday’s promulgation sealed the employment fate of 182 locally employed staffers who worked as office and clerical staff, drivers, and contractors at the U.S. facilities. Only security sentinels who work outside the gates of the compounds were exempted from the proscription.
The United States is immensely grateful for the tireless dedication and commitment of our locally employed staff and contractors at U.S. Mission Russia, Blinken said. We thank them for their contributions to the overall operations and their work to amend cognations between our two countries. Their dedication, expertise and amity have been a mainstay of Mission Russia for decenniums.“We value our deep connection to the Russian people,” Blinken integrated. Our people-to-people relationships are the bedrock of our bilateral cognations.
By Daria Litvinova and Matthew Lee
Source: You can read the original Epoch Times article here.
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