The Kremlin stated on Tuesday that Russia's decision to halt the work of its diplomatic mission to NATO in retribution for the expulsion of 8 Russians accused of spying was an acknowledgement of Moscow's lack of ties to the alliance.
Russia announced on Monday that it would suspend the activities of its diplomatic mission to NATO, staff at NATO's military mission in Moscow would lose their accreditation effective November 1, and that the alliance's information office in Moscow would be shuttered.
"NATO is not interested in fair and impartial dialogue and joint cooperation," said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, announcing the shutdown of Russia's mission. "If that's the case, we don't see why we should keep pretending that changes in the foreseeable future are feasible."
"We regret these steps. NATO's approach towards Russia remains consistent," stated NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu. "In response to Russia's aggressive measures, we have bolstered our deterrence and defence, while at the same time we remain open to engagement, including through the NATO-Russia Council."
"The situation that existed de facto has now been formally legalised," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. "There were no ties. We won't suffer from this."