MOSCOW, 17 Feb – RIA Novosti. Moscow hopes that after the closure of the American Consulate General in Vladivostok, the Russian consular presence in the United States will not be reduced, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov in an interview with RIA Novosti.
He stressed that earlier in Moscow had received a clear signal from the United States that the US Consulate General in Vladivostok would be closed by the decision of the American side, and the activities of the Consulate General in Yekaterinburg would be suspended.
“We proceed from this signal. We have not received anything else from the Americans in its development or in terms of any correction,” added the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.
Speaking about the possible impact of these actions on the Russian consular presence in the US, Ryabkov expressed the hope that it will not be reduced. “We have not heard anything like this from the Americans, and I very much hope that it will not come to this. We are already“ naked ”. the western coast of the United States in terms of providing consular actions and services to our citizens and Americans, “Ryabkov said.
He recalled that after the “illegal” decisions of the Obama administration and then Trump to close the consulates general in San Francisco and Seattle, Russia has only two consular points (in addition to the embassy in Washington, where the consular department operates) – these are the consulates general in Houston and New York.
“We, of course, are interested in preserving what we have. If the Biden administration is willing to restore the consular presence of Russia on the west coast of the United States, then, accordingly, we will be able to help the Americans here to recover. I do not presume to judge how interested they are in this, but a further reduction in the consular presence, in my opinion, is to the detriment of the interests of American citizens and, of course, those of our compatriots who are in the United States … The flow is quite impressive, and I think that as the sanitary and epidemiological situation normalizes, we will see to what extent all this is not only in demand, but to what extent all this needs to be expanded, not reduced, “Ryabkov said.
Read the full text of Sergei Ryabkov's interview >>