Travel agent says he was ‘stuck in the middle’ of Russia travel ban
Travel agent Matthew Fettner, who has lived in Russia for more than 10 years, said he had been “stuck between a rock and a hard place” over the Trump administration’s decision to reinstate the travel ban.
He said he was told he could return to the United States to help with a travel application process but that would be contingent on his cooperation in the government’s investigation of Russian interference in the election.
Fettler, who is based in New York City, said in an interview with The Washington Times that he and other travel agents were told by the White House that they could return only if they had “the cooperation of the government in this investigation.”
In a letter to Fettman dated July 11, the State Department said it had begun reviewing Fetter’s visa application and would issue him a visa within 60 days.
Fattner, 29, has lived for nearly 10 years in Moscow, where he has been involved in traveling for more years.
He began working in Russia in 2015 as an independent contractor, working in travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and bars.
He now lives in Moscow with his wife, whom he met in the country, and two children, ages 7 and 6.
Fittner said he thought the U.S. government had acted properly in reinstating the travel suspension in the wake of the 2016 election when he had not been aware of the Russian government’s role in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
But the letter sent by the State Dept. said he and his co-workers had been kept “in the middle” as a result of the Trump Administration’s suspension of travel.
Fertner said that when he learned that the suspension would be reinstated, he immediately applied for a visa and sent his application to the State Departmenment, but he received no response.
The letter said he also applied for another visa and was told by a State Dept official that the visa application would be expedited.
Fittener said the State Dept. has since told him that it will “consider the application of all applicants who are required to submit their application.”
Fettiner said he believes he was “stung” by the suspension, but added that he has “not had a chance to discuss” his situation with his lawyer.
The State Dept.’s letter said that while he “believes that his travel experience in Russia and his experiences abroad, both as an employee and an individual, have enabled him to develop and apply for a wide variety of relevant credentials, he does not believe that his activities are likely to significantly affect his ability to successfully complete the visa process.”
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment from The Washington News.
The agency said it “will consider all of the information provided to it by Mr. Fetus and its review of his application.”
But Fettmer said in the letter that he was left “with no choice but to submit a new application for a work visa to be issued to me.”
“In order to continue my work and travel to Russia, I would need to apply for additional work visas,” Fettners letter said.
“This is why I am contacting you today.”
In the letter, the agency said that it was “in consultation with the State department” to “determine if Mr.
Fetus’ application was in error and how to resolve it.”
Fetner said in a statement that he is “hopeful that the process will be expeditiously resolved,” but added: “It is time for the Trump adminstration to stop politicizing the visa system, which is why it has taken such a long time for me to get a visa to Russia.
I will continue to fight to make sure that no American is singled out for unfair treatment.”
He added that his business, which focuses on international travel, is “doing fine” and that he “will continue to do business with many companies that have been impacted by the travel bans.”
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The suspension of Fettberns visa was first imposed in July, and Fettcher said he would be able to apply again for another U.K. visa.
Fetcher said that he intends to file a lawsuit challenging the suspension and said he has contacted the U of L Law School and the U, as well as other U.C.L.A. law schools.
Fetterner, a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, was born in England, but moved to the U and attended law school at Stanford University in California.
Fets father, Michael Fett, a U.N. official, was a former British diplomat.
The two men met when Fett was working for a law firm in the U; the family became involved in Russia when Fetter was a teenager.
FETNER’S MESSAGE TO THE STATE DEPT.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said