BRUSSELS, January 22. /TASS/. NATO highly praises good and professional relations in work with Alexander Grushko as Russia’s permanent representative to NATO and congratulates him on his appointment as the Russian deputy foreign minister, a NATO official told TASS, commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to relieve Alexander Grushko of his position of permanent representative to NATO and appoint him as the Russian deputy foreign minister. The NATO headquarters also stated readiness to work with his successor for better predictability and transparency and for lower risks in relations with Russia.
"We appreciate the good, professional working relationship we have had with Ambassador Grushko, and we congratulate him on his new appointment. We look forward to continuing to work with his successor for the mutual benefit of our nations, to increase transparency and predictability and reduce risks," the NATO official noted.
"It is for Russia to decide how it is represented at NATO. NATO's policy towards Russia remains unchanged: strong defense and meaningful dialogue. We value this dialogue with Russia and welcome further discussions in the NATO-Russia Council and other settings, including military to military communications. This is a difficult dialogue, but that's why it is important," the NATO official said.
Earlier on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin relieved Alexander Grushko of his duties as Russia's permanent representative to NATO. The corresponding order as of January 22 was published at the official web portal of legal information. "To relieve Alexander Grushko of his duties as permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Brussels," the document says.
In another order of January 22 Putin appointed Grushko Russian Deputy Foreign Minister. "To appoint Alexander Grushko Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation," the order says. Both decrees are effective immediately.
Grushko was appointed Russia’s envoy to NATO in October 2012. According to official information available on the Foreign Ministry’s website, he has been on the diplomatic service since 1977. He worked in the Soviet Union embassies in the Netherlands (1977-1980) and Belgium (1985-1990). In 2001-2005, he worked as Deputy Director and then as Director of the Department of European Cooperation. Since September 2004, he has been a member of the Russian Foreign Ministry board. From September 2005 to October 2012, Grushko served as Deputy Foreign Minister. His current diplomatic rank is ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, which was awarded to him in July 2004.