From November, Russia will suspend all activities of its NATO mission, in both Moscow and Brussels. This action comes after eight members of the Russian delegation were expelled from Brussels by NATO in early October.
All staff of the NATO mission must leave Moscow; Foreign Minister Lavrov announced that their accreditation would be revoked. In addition, the mission in the Belgian capital and the communications center in Moscow were closed.
‘for the first time’
According to Lavrov, if the military alliance wants to contact Russia in the future, it will have to go through the embassy in Brussels. “It’s the first time communications have been terminated in this way,” says reporter Geert Grote-Korkamp. This means that communication between the two parties will remain to a minimum from now on.”
Russia is not part of NATO, but it does keep in touch by mission about military exercises, for example. In short, it is a task of monitoring and a channel of communication. In Moscow, the mission is located in the Belgian embassy. The Russians have also had a permanent representation in Brussels since the 1990s. Both offices will be closed for the time being.
“lick a piece”
When the accreditation of eight Russian employees was withdrawn last week, Russia had already said it would respond accordingly. “That’s close to zero,” Corkamp says. According to NATO, the eight Russians who were expelled were “undisclosed intelligence officials”. It was not revealed whether the group actually spied.
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