NATO Bars 8 Members of Russian Mission as Spies

NATO said on Wednesday it had stripped eight members of the Russian mission to the Alliance of their accreditation, calling them “undeclared Russian intelligence officers,” meaning spies.

A NATO official giving the information said that “we can also confirm that we have reduced the number of positions which the Russian Federation can accredit to NATO to 10”, down from 20 previously.

“We can confirm that we have withdrawn the accreditation of 8 members of the Russian Mission to NATO, who were undeclared Russian intelligence officers,” the official told AFP, confirming information first reported by Britain’s Sky News.

“NATO’s policy towards Russia remains consistent. We have strengthened our deterrence and defence in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, while at the same time we remain open for a meaningful dialogue,” the official, who refused to be named, said.

The decision on halving the Russian mission will take effect at the end of the month and is understood to have been approved by all 30 NATO member countries.

Russia has long had an observer mission to NATO as part of a two-decade-old NATO-Russia Council meant to promote cooperation in common security areas, but it is not a member of the U.S.-led Alliance.

The Russian mission has been downsized once before, when seven of its members were ejected in the wake of the 2018 poisoning by the Novichok nerve agent on a Russian former double agent, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in Britain. Accreditation applications by another three Russian diplomats were denied.

The NATO-Russia Council has been largely non-functioning against a backdrop of tensions fuelled by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, ongoing support of pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine, and weapons developments including missiles.

US President Joe Biden has taken a much firmer tone against Russian President Vladimir Putin than his predecessor Donald Trump did.

Another NATO official told AFP that the NATO-Russia Council “remains an important platform for dialogue” and said a proposal from early last year to hold another meeting of the forum “stands”.

“The ball is in Russia’s court,” the official said.

Sky News reported that NATO’s decision came after information was revealed in April about fatal explosions at a Czech ammunition depot in 2014 that Prague says involved two Russian spies — identified as allegedly implicated in the Skripal poisoning. 

That Czech Republic-Russia incident led to the mutual expulsion of dozens of EU and Russian diplomats and other embassy staff. 

(c) Moscow Times

5 comments

  • “NATO’s policy towards Russia remains consistent. We have strengthened our deterrence and defence in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, while at the same time we remain open for a meaningful dialogue,”

    Yeah, consistently taking half-assed measures against the Nazi state. First – There should be no nazi spies allowed anywhere near NATO, never mind reducing them by half, the whole lot need removing. Secondly – After 20 years of Russian chest thumping, NATO have learned fuck all. Meaningful dialogue does not exist with Russia, the only thing they understand, is a smack in the mouth.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Only yesterday this useless sack of Marxist shit stated that he did not regard China as an enemy!

      Also he said: ““It’s only for NATO members and Georgia, and Ukraine, to decide when they’re ready to join, not Russia,” he said Tuesday. “So we support the efforts to modernize to reform to meet the NATO standards. And when 30 allies agree that they are ready to join, they will join.”

      Neither nation, however, currently meets the political or military standards required for membership, which is where NATO members must “step up” to help out.”

      That of course means they will never join and he knows this very well.

      He is about as anti-Russia as Merkel and as useful as a fart in a spacesuit.

      Liked by 3 people

      • It’s all BS. Ukraine’s military is probably more than a match for the majority of NATO members. That’s who this idiot should be comparing them to, not Russia. Politically, Ukraine are not pro Russian enough for NATO, they won’t stand for any crap coming out of Russia.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Ukrainian strategists need to have a serious rethink. Of course they should continue to lobby publicly for Nato and EU membership whilst privately acknowledging that neither are going to happen.
          Unless of course Russia suddenly denounces fascism and withdraws. In which case those brave fuckers of EU and Nato will suddenly open the doors for Ukraine anyway.
          Meantime they need to think out of the box. Offer Britain and Poland unlimited access to their mineral wealth in return for decisive military assistance.
          Offer Turkey Crimea on the following terms:
          Turkey to assist Ukraine in removing Russian occupiers from Donbas and Crimea. Crimea to become an independent Tatar state under majority Tatar rule under the joint protection of Ukraine and Turkey, with joint naval, army and air base facilities for both powers. Only Tatars and Ukrainians permitted to live there, but with citizenship available for purchase from wealthy foreign investors, excluding Russians obviously. Russians who lived there before the invasion can remain, but no new ones can enter.
          The Krymchaks can return and all Christian denominations that were persecuted under the putinazis, such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, can return. The putler bridge will be destroyed.
          The Russian Orthodox Church will be removed, as will all other artefacts of the Russian invasion.

          Liked by 3 people

  • “The ball is in Russia’s court,”
    Haven’t these imbeciles learned in nearly seven years that the ball is always in the mafia court? They control the game from start to … whenever the finish might be. NATO is mostly a collection of yellow-bellied sapsuckers who fear their own shadows in the dark and mafia land knows it. At any rate, Ukraine has done a fine job to contain mafia aggression. I was surprised by the military hardware that was shown in Kyiv in August. The country sure has come a long way since the chaotic days of 2014-2015 and is a more capable military than the biggest majority of NATO members.

    Liked by 3 people

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