US expels Russian diplomats, closes consulate in Seattle

26 Mar 18

UNITED STATES

The Trump administration has expelled 60 Russian diplomats and ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in Seattle, the White House announced Monday. The move was taken in conjunction with NATO allies in response to the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter in Salisbury, England earlier this month.

Key points:

  • The 60 diplomats have been ordered to leave by April 2. Forty-eight are staff members of the Russian Embassy and 12 are members of Russia’s mission to the United Nations.
  • Visa applicants in Seattle should anticipate redirecting their applications to another consulate. Although the consulate in Seattle covers certain jurisdictions, applicants have always had the option of selecting an alternate consulate. (The consulate in Seattle currently covers Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming, as well as American Samoa, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands.)
  • Russia has threatened to expel 60 U.S. diplomats in retaliation.

BAL Analysis: The Russian visa application center (ILS) in Seattle remains open as normal and is accepting documents by mail and on a walk-in basis without an appointment. After April 1, visa applicants should select Houston, New York, San Francisco or Washington, D.C. as the Russian mission handling their application. Applicants should anticipate delays of several days as a result of the closure.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@balglobal.com.

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