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Russia’s response to NATO’s expulsion of diplomats is timely, correct — senator

On October 6, NATO said it was reducing Russia’s mission to NATO from 20 persons to 10

MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. The suspension of Russia’s mission to NATO and the termination of the operation of the NATO Information Office and Military Liaison Mission in Moscow are timely and correct decisions, taken in response to the alliance’s policy of accusations and ultimatums against Russia, the first deputy chairman of the Federation Council’s international affairs commission, Vladimir Jabarov, told TASS on Monday.

"I believe that this decision is very correct and very timely. Honestly speaking, we are pretty bored with NATO’s whims. They keep accusing Russia of something and threaten us all the time. In New York, they speak about the need for expanding cooperation, but when they return to Brussels, they declare a reduction of our mission," Jabarov said.

He expressed regret over such developments and placed the blame for this entirely on NATO.

"Regrettably, this is a sad affair. But NATO, I guess, has stepped over a certain line. No country that feels at least some self-esteem will tolerate this any more. The responsibility for this worsening of relations rests upon entirely on the North Atlantic Alliance," Jabarov said.

About the possibility of restoring contacts to the full extent he said that for this there must be NATO’s goodwill and the wish to cooperate constructively, and not pay lip service to this intention.

"If NATO is really interested in contacts and cooperation, they should display goodwill and say so themselves," he stressed, adding that "statements that have nothing to rely on no longer suit Russia."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that Russia was suspending the operation of its permanent mission to NATO following the alliance’s decision to revoke the accreditation of eight Russian staffers. Also, the operation of NATO’s Military Liaison Mission and Information Office in Moscow will be paused.

On October 6, NATO said it was reducing Russia’s mission to NATO from 20 persons to 10. The accreditation of eight diplomats was revoked and two vacancies abolished. The alliance asked the Russian diplomats to leave Brussels by the end of October.