Russia Cuts Ties With NATO, Suspends Mission, Closes Office

(Photo by EVGENY PAULIN/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Deputy News Editor
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Russia suspended its mission at NATO and ordered the organization’s office in Moscow to close after NATO expelled Russian diplomats from its headquarters earlier this month.

NATO reduced the number of Russian diplomats at its Brussels headquarters from 20 to 10 and withdrew the accreditation of eight Russian diplomats the alliance suspected were working as Russian intelligence officers, according to The Associated Press. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced the retaliatory actions Monday and slammed the NATO accusations as baseless and counterproductive.

“NATO isn’t interested in any kind of equal dialogue or joint work,” Lavrov said. The moves show that “we don’t see any need to keep pretending that there could be any shift in the foreseeable future,” he continued. (RELATED: President Biden Goes Totally Silent While Trying To Answer Question About Putin)

“As a result of NATO’s deliberate moves, we have practically no conditions for elementary diplomatic work and in response to NATO’s actions we suspend the work of our permanent mission to NATO, including the work of the chief military envoy, probably from Nov. 1. Or it may take several more days,” he added.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said NATO’s tact toward Moscow is “becoming more and more aggressive.”

In Luxembourg, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that the retaliation by Russia will put “further serious strain” on its relations with the West. “Germany has repeatedly pushed for dialogue with Russia within NATO over the past years,” Maas said. “We have to recognize once more, that Russia apparently no longer is. That is more than regrettable.”