Russia suspending mission to NATO in response to staff expulsions

NEWS 18.10.2021 16:13

Russia will suspend its permanent mission to NATO in response to the alliance's expulsion of eight Russians, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.

Moscow's suspension of its mission could come into effect as early as November 1, Lavrov said.

Russia is also suspending the activities of the NATO military liaison mission in Moscow, Lavrov said, with staff accreditation to be withdrawn on November 1.

The NATO information bureau in Moscow, which was established at the Belgian embassy to explain the role of NATO and NATO policies to the Russian public, will also be terminated, he said.

Lavrov said the Kremlin's suspensions were in response to “NATO's actions.” Earlier this month, a NATO official said that the eight Russians they expelled were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.”

The move came as US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Georgia's prime minister and his counterpart on Monday. The visit is the first leg of a three-part tour “to reassure allies and partners of America's commitment to their sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression,” according to a US Department of Defense statement.

Austin will also visit Ukraine and Romania before a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels.


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