NATO Expels Eight Russian Diplomats from Its Headquarters
Oct. 7, 2021 (EIRNS)—One day after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called for greater dialogue between the Alliance and Russia, NATO ordered the expulsion of eight diplomats from the Russian mission at NATO headquarters, on Oct. 6, alleging that they were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.” According to Reuters, Sky News first reported the expulsions, saying that Moscow’s mission to the Alliance headquarters in Brussels would be halved “in response to suspected malign Russian activities, including killings and espionage.”
“We can confirm that we have withdrawn the accreditation of eight members of the Russian Mission to NATO, who were undeclared Russian intelligence officers,” the NATO official said, and that the number of positions Moscow can accredit to NATO had been cut to 10 from 18. “NATO’s policy towards Russia remains consistent. We have strengthened our deterrence and defense in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, while at the same time we remain open for a meaningful dialogue,” the official stated.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko, formerly Russia’s ambassador to NATO, told Kommersant that the expulsion shows the value of NATO’s calls for dialogue.
“Yesterday, NATO leaders were still declaring the importance of de-escalation in relations with Russia, calling for the resumption of dialogue within the NATO-Russia Council and for an ambassador to be sent to Brussels. If anyone ever believed in the sincerity of those statements, there are none left today. Their true price is clear for everyone,”
he said, reported TASS.
“How is it possible to live without the bogey of the ‘Russian threat’ after the impressive ending of the Afghan epic? No way.”