NATO expels 8 members of Russian mission in Brussels
The move comes amid continued concerns over alleged killings and other aggressive actions by Russian spy services.
The alliance also halved the size of the Russian mission to NATO, headquartered in Brussels, from twenty to ten accredited positions – the eight Russian officials expelled plus two other positions which will now be abolished.
“NATO’s policy towards Russia remains consistent,” said the NATO official. “We have stepped up our deterrence and defense in response to aggressive Russian actions, while remaining open to constructive dialogue.”
The alliance took similar action following the poisoning in 2018 of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, reducing the Russian mission to 20 out of 30. The UK awarded the attack on a Russian military intelligence unit.
This same unit has also been linked to an explosion at a Czech weapons depot in 2014 that killed two people, among other incidents across Europe, according to the open-source investigation unit Bellingcat.
Russian state news agency RIA Novosti reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko commented on the NATO decision, saying the actions were inconsistent with previous statements.
“Yesterday, NATO leaders spoke of the importance of de-escalation in relations with Russia, called for the resumption of dialogue in the Russia-NATO Council, sending an ambassador to Brussels. If anyone believed to the sincerity of these declarations, none remain today After the impressive conclusion of the Afghan epic, how to continue without the scarecrow of the “Russian threat.” “Not at all”, declared the diplomat .