Russia suspends NATO mission in response to diplomat expulsion


Kremlin announced on Monday that it would suspend its permanent mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Monday in retaliation for the Western military alliance’s expulsion of eight Russian diplomats.

The country’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said at a news conference that the suspension of Russia’s permanent mission to NATO could come into effect as early as next month, as a result of “NATO’s actions.”

“As a result of NATO’s deliberate movements, we have virtually no conditions for basic diplomatic activity, and depending on NATO’s actions, perhaps from November 1st, we will suspend work on our resident mission to NATO. It will stop, or maybe it will take a few more days, “Lavrov said.

Lavrov added that NATO member states with “emergency projects” could contact the Belgian ambassador on these questions as the alliance office in the capital Moscow will be closed.

NATO said on Monday that it had taken into account Lavrov’s comments on the mutual suspension of diplomatic missions and that it had not received official contact on this issue.

“We paid attention to Lavrov’s comments on the media, but we have not received official contact on the issues he raised,” the NATO press said. News agency TASS At the request to comment on Lavrov’s statement.

On October 6, NATO reduced the size of the Moscow team capable of working at headquarters from 20 to 10 after accusing eight members of the Russian military alliance mission to be involved in espionage. rice field.

The Kremlin dismissed the accusation.

Lavrov said NATO’s actions confirmed that he was “not interested in any kind of equal dialogue or collaboration” and “need to continue to lie that there may be some change in the foreseeable future.” I don’t think so. “

Russia’s permanent mission is not based in NATO’s headquarters, but in a green district south of Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia in 2014 after annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, but remains open channels for high-level conferences and military-to-military cooperation. However, their favorite forum, the NATO-Russian Council, has met only sporadically since then.

In a tense relationship, Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern about the deployment of NATO forces near the Russian border, describing it as a security threat. Russia and the alliance have also accused each other of conducting unstable military exercises near the border.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lorenz Duchan

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