Restrictions adopted by Washington on Russians applying for American visas will negatively affect tourism to the US, a top official said here. “Unfortunately, I think this will have a negative effect on the tourist flow. The limitations will be more difficult and less convenient for Russian citizens to get the visa. This will for sure lead to a drop in the number of tourists,” Oleg Safonov, head of Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, said on Wednesday. On Monday, the US embassy in Russia said that it will suspend all non-immigrant visa operations across Russia for nine days starting from Wednesday after Kremlin imposed cap on American diplomatic personnel in the country, reports Xinhua news agency. “All non-immigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on August 23. Operations will resume in Moscow on September 1; visa operations at the US consulates will remain suspended indefinitely,” the embassy said.
Safonov said the restrictions ould cause complications for Russian travel agencies and people from outside of Moscow will have to spend more time and money to attend a visa appointment. He hoped the measure is temporary and the visa service will resume normal. Russia last month demanded the US cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people to 455 by September 1 and seized an American warehouse and a recreational compound in Moscow in retaliation for Washington’s sanctions on Kremlin.