Russia breaks off diplomatic ties with NATO

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Russia breaks off diplomatic ties with NATO

Russia plans to cease its diplomatic engagement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, has said.

The development is the latest sign of unraveling relations between Moscow and the West.

The New York Times reported that the announcement was not apparently accompanied by any military moves by Russia threatening European security.

By early next month, Russia will halt the activities of its representative office at NATO headquarters in Brussels and withdraw diplomatic credentials from emissaries of the alliance working in Moscow.

“Because of NATO’s targeted steps, proper conditions for elemental diplomatic activity don’t exist,” Lavrov said.

NATO’s response was muted. “We have taken note of the decision by Russia to suspend the work of its diplomatic mission,” a spokeswoman, Oana Lungescu, said.

“NATO’s policy toward 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 to dialogue.”

Earlier this month, NATO ordered eight Russian diplomats to leave Belgium by Nov. 1, saying they were undeclared intelligence officers. The alliance also reduced the size of the Russian representative office.
The breakoff of diplomatic ties comes as President Biden is seeking to strengthen the European alliance after Donald Trump denigrated members as freeloaders on American military spending and threatened to withdraw.
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