Starting today, January 17, 2002, the US Embassies are introducing a new regime for granting visas to the Russian citizens. The measure is designed for security guarantees after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. However, it looks as though security measures and human rights for Russians are quite incompatible with notions for the US authorities.
According to the new regulations, between the ages of 16 to 45 years will have to fill in one more form in addition to the standard ones: they are to provide information about their parents and education institutions (where they studied or study now). Problems concerning political and religious views, participation in any public organizations, questions about employment for the last ten years, and about the employees will be in the form. Persons subject to the draft are to state their rank, military profession, any participation in military conflicts. If men know how to deal with radioactive, chemical, biological and explosive materials, they are to also mention this in the form.
The innovation may also concern women, because additional information can be demanded from any person who arouses suspicion.
Receiving visas from the US Embassy has become the subject of the day long ago. Russian citizens are more humiliated in the US Embassies than in the Embassies of other countries. Perhaps, Americans think that only bandits and terrorists, capable of doing much harm to the USA, live in Russia.
There have been several cases when the personnel of the US Embassy had to deny the fact that Russians are required to undergo the procedure of skull measuring and eyeball scanning. However, what are the guarantees that the procedure will not be conducted in the future? Therefpre, it will be quite a problem for Russians who know how handle weapons of mass destruction to travel to the USA. And, moreover, more problems will be probably be created for Russia’s Muslims: the USA may place them onto the black list as well.
The introduction of the new rules for granting visas to Russian citizens looks very much like a division into black and white. And no wonder that most Russian people treat America without any sympathy at all.
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/01/17/35662.html