Kremlin says NATO diplomatic expulsions undermine hope for dialogue


FILE PHOTO: Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Thursday NATO's move to cut the size of Russia's diplomatic mission almost completely undermined its hopes that relations could be normalised and dialogue resumed with the U.S.-led alliance.

NATO expelled eight members of Russia's mission to the alliance who were "undeclared Russian intelligence officers", a NATO official said on Wednesday, the latest blow to East-West ties that are already at post-Cold War lows.

"There is an obvious inconsistency in statements by NATO representatives about their desire to normalise relations with our country and in their actual actions," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Peskov said NATO's actions did not suggest relations could be normalised and dialogue resumed. "In fact, these prospects are almost completely undermined."

Sky News reported that Moscow's mission to NATO headquarters in Brussels would be halved "in response to suspected malign Russian activities, including killings and espionage".

Reuters was not able to confirm the reasons cited by Sky News for the reduction of the Russian delegation.

In 2018, in the wake of the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury, NATO withdrew agreement for the appointment of seven staff accredited to the Russian mission to the alliance, and denied pending accreditation requests for three others.

The North Atlantic Council, the NATO assembly, also reduced the maximum size of the Russian mission by 10 people from the previous 30.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko on Wednesday accused NATO of duplicity. A pro-Kremlin lawmaker promised that Moscow would retaliate, though not necessarily in kind.

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; writing by Alexander Marrow; editing by Mark Heinrich)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Japan tightening border controls on three more African countries - Foreign Ministry
Czech Republic reports 20,315 daily coronavirus cases
Thailand bans entry from 8 African countries over COVID Omicron variant
France says it is willing to discuss autonomy for Guadeloupe
Blinken calls for speedy negotiations over Ethiopia military escalation
Philippines cuts target for ambitious three-day vaccination sprint
Australia starts 14-day quarantine for citizens travelling from southern Africa
Mexico asks the U.S. for conditions to resume return of asylum seekers
Mexico to ask Brazilians for visas beginning in December
U.N. 'concerned' Mexico hasn't complied with recommendations to prevent disappearances

Others Also Read


Vouchers