The U.S. Embassy in Moscow announced on Friday that the Russian government intends to defer the enforcement of a ban on the U.S. embassy hiring foreign staff, noting that it would temporarily resume routine services for American citizens.
Last month, the embassy had said it was cutting consular staff by 75% and that from May 12 it would stop processing non-immigrant visas for non-diplomatic travel, after the Kremlin accused the United States of fueling tension with “unfriendly actions”.
Moscow and Washington have long differed over a range of issues, but ties slumped further after U.S. President Joe Biden said he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was “a killer”.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia last month for alleged malign activity, including interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber hacking and “bullying” neighboring Ukraine.
Moscow retaliated with sanctions against Washington, and has rejected U.S. criticism of its treatment of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.