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Russia summons U.S. diplomat in Moscow in protest over visa row

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia summoned a representative of the U.S. embassy in Moscow on Thursday to issue a protest after U.S. officials alleged Russia had refused visas to teachers at an international school in Moscow, the Russian foreign ministry said.

The ministry said in a statement it had not denied the visas, but that teachers at the school were entering Russia under diplomatic visas, despite not being diplomats.

It said Russia was ready to issue visas promptly to U.S. diplomatic personnel as soon as Washington started issuing visas promptly to Russian diplomats in the United States.

The United States and Russia accused each other a day earlier of using children as political hostages after dozens of teachers at the English-language school in Moscow patronized by the children of Western diplomats were left without visas.

Reporting by Christian Lowe; editing by Andrew Osborn

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