The U.S. Department of State has categorized Russians who want to apply for a U.S. visa as belonging to "homeless nationalities.". The list of ‘homeless nationalities’, in addition to Russia, includes Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
American officials usually include in “homeless nationalities” citizens from those countries where there is no U.S. consular mission. The document prescribes those wishing to obtain an American visa to apply to the consulate of one of the neighboring states. So, Russians wishing to apply for an American visa are recommended to go to the US Embassy in Warsaw (Poland).
The spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said that the United States has turned the procedure for obtaining a visa for Russians in "a real hell and sadism".
"I read that the US State Department has included Russians who want to apply for a visa to the United States in the category of "homeless nationalities". They turned a simple for the XXI century technical procedure into a real hell, which is based on mockery on the verge of sadism," she wrote on her Telegram channel.
Zakharova accused American diplomats of "destroying for years the system of consular services which they did not create”. According to her, it is not only about reducing tourism and cultural exchange but is also "a blow to families and relatives."
Problems in diplomatic relations between Russia and the United States began in the spring of 2018, when the US Consulate General in St. Petersburg stopped its work after an attempt of Russian special services to poison former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK. Then Washington expelled 60 Russian diplomats and independently decided to close the Russian Consulate General in Seattle.