Russia accused the U.S. of deliberately stalling the visa process for Kremlin officials, saying the delay could exacerbate existing international tensions, according to Reuters.
The Russian Embassy in Washington said on Tuesday that the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had not provided visas to Moscow treasury officials scheduled to attend an audit management conference in the city that day.
While the embassy did not immediately respond to the statement, it has previously said orders from Moscow to cut staff in 2017 have caused processing delays.
In its statement, the Russian Embassy was skeptical of the idea that understaffing was to blame for the delay, according to Reuters.
“We are concerned about the U.S. State Department’s lack of will to ensure the proper work of its own consular organizations under lame pretexts,” the Russian Embassy said in a statement. “Such actions by U.S. authorities are leading to a further degradation of already uneasy relations between the two countries.”
The statement comes months after Moscow asked a senior U.S. diplomat to explain the U.S. Embassy’s failure to issue visas for members of a Russian delegation traveling to the United Nations General Assembly.
The Hill has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow for comment.