Russia has retaliated for the recent expulsion of several of its diplomats from the NATO mission in Brussels. Russia on Monday said it would suspend its mission in the alliance and ordered NATO’s Moscow office to close.
Earlier this month, NATO said eight Russians working on its mission in Brussels were intelligence officers. NATO later revoked their accreditation. NATO has also reduced its staff in Moscow from 20 to 10.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the allegations, saying “NATO is not interested in dialogue or cooperation in any form.”
“As a result of NATO’s deliberate move, we have practically no basis for basic diplomatic efforts. And in response to NATO’s actions, we are suspending the work of our permanent missions in NATO, including the efforts of the chief military envoy, possibly from November 1st, Or it may take several days. again,” he said.
Lavrov said issues between Russia and NATO would be handled by the Russian embassy in Belgium. NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said Russia had not officially announced the move it was taking. [vm/jm]