The Russian ambassador to the UK has accused the British government of delaying the granting of visas to staff at its embassy in London. Alexander Yakovenko said the embassy was “shrinking” and questioned whether the UK wanted “an adequate Russian diplomatic presence”. The Foreign Office said there was no policy to delay visas. Mr Yakovenko said Russia did not have enough diplomatic staff in London because as people returned home or went on to other postings, visas for their replacements were not being issued. “The embassy is shrinking and if it continues the embassy will be reduced further. People cannot be replaced because the visas are not being issued,” he said. “I hope this problem will be resolved under present government.” He added: “Here in London, we simply do not understand the strategy of this country on visa issues.”
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