MOSCOW, October 6./TASS/. Russia will retaliate to the expulsion of diplomats from the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to NATO, and the organization’s accusations are unfounded, the chairman of the 7th Duma’s international affairs committee, Leonid Slutsky, told TASS on Wednesday.
"Such moves are reciprocal in the diplomatic practice. I have no doubt that the leadership of the Russian Foreign Ministry will suggest adequate response measures, not necessarily symmetrical," the senior legislator said.
He also expressed confidence that "all accusations concerning the allegedly ill-intentioned activity [of the Russian diplomats] are unfounded and won’t find confirmation". According to him, "the collective West continues a policy towards the diplomatic standoff with Russia". "Stripping of accreditation eight staffers of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to NATO will further decrease the level of cooperation," he stated.
"At the present, as you know, the position of the Russian permanent representative in Brussels is vacant. The expulsion of employees of the Russian diplomatic mission will in no way help to build up a dialogue".
On Wednesday, the British Sky News TV channel reported that NATO had made the decision to reduce the number of positions, which Russia can accredit to NATO from 20 to 10, withdrawing the accreditation of eight diplomats and closing down the positions of two more. According to the TV channel, this decision was taken in response to Russia’s allegedly hostile activity over recent years.