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NATO Regrets Russia's Decision to Suspend Work of Missions

NATO flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.10.2021
BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - NATO regrets the decision of Russia to suspend the work of the missions of the alliance and Russia, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu told Sputnik.
On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced Russia's retaliatory measures to the expulsion of diplomats from NATO: in addition to suspending the work of the NATO military liaison mission in Moscow, its information bureau is also shutting down. The Russian permanent mission to NATO also suspends work from November 1 or a little later. For contacts with Russia, the alliance should now contact the Russian ambassador to Belgium.
"We have taken note of the decision by Russia to suspend the work of its diplomatic mission to NATO, and of NATO’s Military Liaison Mission in Moscow, and to close down NATO’s Information Mission in Moscow. We regret these steps," Lungescu said.
Against the background of Russia's decision on missions, NATO declares its openness to dialogue, including through the NATO-Russia Council, she said.
"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 to dialogue, including through the NATO-Russia Council," she said.
Meanwhile, Russia has suggested to agree on measures of de-escalation with NATO, including a mutual decrease in military activity along the borders of Russia and the alliance's countries, Russia's deputy envoy at the UN and other international organizations in Geneva, Andrey Belousov, said at a meeting of the First Committee of the UN General Assembly.

According to the diplomat, today "steps are required to improve the situation, as well as focus on the conscientious implementation of existing agreements, including the Vienna Document."

"Additional voluntary measures of transparency are useful. We propose to agree on de-escalation measures, including a mutual reduction in military activity along the border between Russia and NATO countries, and on improving mechanisms for preventing incidents and dangerous military activities," Belousov said.
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