Britain says Russian contractors have no say in visa process

MOSCOW (AP) — Britain’s Home Office says that the company contracted to collect visa applications in Russia has “absolutely no involvement with the decision-making process.”

The company, TLSContact, is “simply an application point,” according to a statement. Final decisions are made in the U.K.

The statement late Friday came in response to an investigation published by investigative group Bellingcat and Russian website The Insider. The investigation aims to show how Russian military intelligence officers, charged with poisoning a former Russian spy on British soil, obtained U.K. visas.

A former TLSContact employee told the groups that Russia’s Federal Security Service pressured him into building a “backdoor” in the application system.

The investigation didn’t demonstrate a clear link between these efforts and the Russian spies charged in the poisoning case.