Russia suspends NATO mission after spy accusation

Moscow, Oct 18 (EFE).- Russia said Monday it would suspend its diplomatic mission to NATO after mutual accusations and disagreements with the Western military alliance.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said the decision was taken in response to NATO’s expulsion of eight members of the Russian mission earlier this month.

On 6 October, NATO expelled the eight members accusing them of being “undeclared Russian intelligence officers”.

The expulsion meant the eight were no longer allowed to work in the Brussels NATO headquarters.

Lavrov had said the move ruined any hopes that relations between the alliance and Russia could normalize and that NATO was not interested in an “equal dialogue nor in cooperation”.

Russia’s NATO military mission in Moscow will also be stripped of their accreditation from 1 November and the NATO information office, located in the Belgian embassy in Moscow, will shut down.

In case of an emergency, NATO could interact with Russian embassies in Brussels, Lavrov said.

Practical cooperation between the Western alliance and Russia was suspended in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea, even though the parties have open channels of communication and high level military co-operations. EFE


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