Russia is suspending its permanent mission to NATO, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday. “NATO is not interested in any equal dialogue or in any joint work,” Lavrov said. “If so, then we do not see much need to continue to pretend that some change is possible in the foreseeable future. NATO has already in fact declared the impossibility of such changes.” The NATO information bureau in Moscow, which was established at the Belgian embassy to explain the role of NATO and NATO policies to the Russian public, will also be terminated. Previously, this month, NATO expelled eight members of the Russian mission to the alliance who they determined were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers.” “As a result of NATO’s deliberate moves, we have practically no conditions for elementary diplomatic work and in response to NATO’s actions we suspend the work of our permanent mission to NATO, including the work of the chief military envoy, probably from Nov. 1. Or it may take several more days,” Lavrov also said.
On Monday, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu said the alliance had “taken note” of Lavrov’s comments, but that NATO hadn’t received any official communication about the matter. NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.