MOSCOW (AP) — The U.S. and British embassies in Moscow said on Wednesday that Russia has refused visas to teachers at a school that educates diplomats’ children.
Ambassador Jon Huntsman that Russia hasn’t issued visas to 30 new teachers who are due to arrive next month and adds “children should not be used as pawns in diplomatic disputes.” He added the school may “look at the possible disenrollment of some new and returning students” if it can’t hire enough teachers.
The British Embassy in Moscow confirmed the reports, calling the Russian government’s decision not to issue visas “unfortunate.”
The Anglo-American School has around 1,100 children from over 60 countries, including some children of wealthy Russians. Founded in 1949, the school is overseen by the U.S., British and Canadian embassies.
In 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited U.S. diplomats’ children to New Year celebrations at the Kremlin, shortly after the Foreign Ministry denied a CNN report that it planned to close the school.
Russia has for years tried to get the U.S to roll back the restrictions it imposed on the Russian diplomatic mission at the end of the Barack Obama administration when the Russia mission’s two countryside estates, in New York and Maryland were shut down.