Russia: Washington visa decision driven by 'political reasons' — Zakharova

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova argued that the US' suspension of non-immigrant visa processing throughout Russia was not associated with «technical difficulties faced by the US consular service» but caused by «political reasons,» at a press briefing, in Moscow, Thursday. Zakharova stressed that «the main reason for this decision is not the technical difficulties faced by... Еще the US consular service,» which she said «is very well-equipped in terms of resources, but political reasons.» The Russian foreign ministry spokesperson refuted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's speculation on Tuesday that Russia allegedly supplies arms to the Taliban, saying, «We once again declare that we do not provide any support to the Taliban movement.» Zakharova also noted that Aleppo Province is «completely liberated» from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which she said amounts to «50 villages and more than 2,500 square kilometres of Syrian territory,» adding that «a range of heights in residential settlements of Hisyah and es-Savannet» were also regained control of. Earlier in the week, the US embassy in Russia announced that it is bringing all «non-immigrant visa operations» in Russia to a halt as of August 23, though they are planned to be resumed only at the US embassy in Moscow starting September 1.
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