Embassy slams FCO in visa row

The Russian Embassy has accused the Foreign Office of a “flagrant violation” of its international obligations by delaying the extension of visas for Russian Embassy staff, resulting in their “forced departure” from the UK after their visas expired.

The Foreign Office said it couldn’t comment on the details of these cases but said the UK approach “reflected arrangements” of British diplomats in Moscow.

The Russian Embassy said it was not aware of British diplomats experiencing problems extending their visas and branded the British action as “petty minded”.

The Russian Embassy claimed its officials waited an average of six months for the UK to conduct “deep” background checks before approving visas, including the Embassy cook.