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US demands “fairness” over normalising diplomatic mission activities with Russia – State Department

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Mandatory Credit: US Department of State

State Department Spokesperson Ned Price stressed that the United States expect “fairness” and “flexibility” from Russia to normalise activities at the US embassies, at a press conference in Washington DC on Tuesday.

“Our stance on the staffing of our mission remains firm. We expect parity on staffing numbers and we expect visa reciprocity. There must be fairness, there must be flexibility on the Russian side if we are to achieve an equitable agreement and that’s precisely what we are after,” he told the press.

Price said that both countries agreed to another round of talks to discuss a resolution on the tense diplomatic situation that has led to the hindrance of diplomatic activities at their missions and the reciprocal expulsion of diplomatic staff over the last years.

After banning the US embassy from hiring local staff and providing US citizens with non-immigrant, non-diplomatic visas, Russia offered in recent talks to lift the imposed sanctions against the US.
The State Department Spokesperson further commented on US relations with Afghanistan. Price underlined, that efforts to hold talks with the Taliban have resulted in the continued evacuation of American citizens and Afghan staff.

“In total, at least 129 U.S. citizens and 115 lawful permanent residents have departed Afghanistan with our assistance since August 31st. That includes charter flights, that includes overland routes as well. I also spoke to the fact that there are a couple of thousand additional individuals who since August 31st have been able to depart,” he said.

In regards to humanitarian aid for the central Asian country, Price announced that Washington plans to deliver 3.3 million doses of vaccine to Afghanistan.

#USA #StateDepartment #NedPrice #Russia

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