Russia has suspended its diplomatic mission to NATO in response to the expulsion of eight members amid accusations of spying by NATO. Also, NATO’s military mission in Moscow will lose its accreditation on 1 November and the mission’s offices will be closed. The tit-for-tat comes from NATO expelling eight members of the Russian mission in early October. The alliance claimed these men were operating as “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.” The Russian government has said the move undermined hopes that relations with the U.S.-led alliance could normalize.
“NATO is not interested in equitable dialogue and joint work,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday after announcing the closure of the Russian mission. “If that’s the case, then we don’t see the need to keep pretending that changes in the foreseeable future are possible.”
Monday’s action marks the latest bump in the road for East-West relations, which have never truly recovered from Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. It now seems that Russia is openly acknowledging the fact it no longer seems willing to engage in constructive dialogue with the United States and Europe.
Author’s Note: Short update today, apologies. Been a busy last week or so. I’ll get back up to standards by Wednesday. –Mike