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US suspends sanctions against Russian security chiefs during their visit to Washington
Washington has suspended its entry ban for Russian security chiefs, so that they could travel to the United States for consultations with their US colleagues, US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
The director of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, Federal Security Service (FSB) chief Alexander Bortnikov and chief the Russian General Staff's Main Intelligence Directorate Igor Korobov visited Washington last week, according to US media reports.
"I can tell you in a general - in a general matter, if something is considered to be in the national security interest of the United States, just like other countries, we have the ability to waive that so that people can come in to the United States," Nauert said.
"It is no secret that despite our many, many differences <…> with the Russian Government, we also have areas where we have to work together, and one of those is combating terrorism and ISIS (Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia)," she continued.
The spokesperson gave no details about the visit, saying that information regarding visa decisions is protected under the US law.
"I know it's a matter that's frustrating to a lot of reporters - visa applications and those types of things are something that we are not able to discuss. That is considered private information under the federal law. Like it or not, that is just the law and so we have to adhere to that," she said.
The United States has earlier imposed unilateral sanctions, which include entry ban, on Naryshkin, Bortnikov and Korobov, along with other senior Russian officials.
[Source: Itar Tass, Washington, 02Feb18]
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