Russia suspends mission to NATO

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it has decided to suspend the operation of the Russian Permanent Mission to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in retaliation for the alliance’s “unfriendly actions”.

Russia’s Ambassador to Belgium will be authorised for emergency contacts with the NATO headquarters, while an envoy of the NATO member states in Moscow can perform similar functions, Xinhua news agency quoted the Ministry as saying in a statement on Monday.

Russia is also suspending the activities of the NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow and the accreditation of its staffers will be revoked on November 1.

In addition, Russia is terminating the work of the NATO Information Office in Moscow.

The Russian side has informed the NATO International Secretariat of its decision.

NATO had announced the expulsion of eight members of the Russian mission in Brussels on October 6, calling them “undeclared Russian intelligence officers”.

Additionally, the number of Russian staff at the mission was reduced by half from 20 to 10.

Before that, the size of the Russian mission in Brussels was reduced twice unilaterally by the NATO in 2015 and 2018, after the alliance’s decision on April 1, 2014 to suspend all practical civilian and military cooperation between the two sides.