MOSCOW, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. embassy in Russia said Monday that it will suspend all nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia for nine days starting Wednesday due to the Russian government-imposed cap on U.S. diplomatic personnel in Russia.
"All nonimmigrant visa operations across Russia will be suspended on August 23. Operations will resume in Moscow on September 1; visa operations at the U.S. consulates will remain suspended indefinitely," the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
Existing appointments for the nine-day period will be canceled and applicants will be provided with instructions to reschedule, it added.
The U.S. visa freeze aims to "provoke dissatisfaction of the our citizens with the activities of the Russian authorities," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented on the U.S. decision.
It is the logic of those who organize Color Revolutions and it is a clear consequence of the policy of the (former President Barack) Obama administration, he said at a news briefing.
Lavrov said Russia will study the U.S. embassy statement in detail but Russia will not take it out on U.S. citizens.
Russia last month demanded the United States cut its diplomatic staff in Russia by 755 people to 455 by Sept. 1 and seized a U.S. warehouse and a recreational compound in Moscow in retaliation for Washington's anti-Russian sanctions.
In December 2016, 35 Russian diplomats were expelled and two retreats in New York and Maryland used by Russian diplomats were closed by the Obama administration over accusations of alleged Russian hacking during the presidential election.