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Moscow’s decision to halt its representation to NATO will worsen ‘ice age’ of relations between Russia & bloc, says German FM Maas

Moscow’s decision to halt its representation to NATO will worsen ‘ice age’ of relations between Russia & bloc, says German FM Maas
The relationship between Russia and NATO is currently in an ‘ice age,’ and the latest moves by Moscow to suspend its permanent representation to the US-led bloc will only serve to prolong and worsen the already dire situation.

That’s according to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who reacted on Monday to Moscow’s decision to withdraw its envoys in response to NATO’s move earlier this month to expel eight Russians over espionage accusations, and what the bloc called “suspected malign Russian activities.”

“It makes things more difficult, and they were already difficult,” Maas said, explaining that Germany has sought, as part of NATO, for there to be a dialogue with Russia.

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“Russia no longer seems to be willing to talk,” he continued. “The decision taken by Moscow is more than regrettable.”

“It will seriously damage the relationship.”

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed that Moscow would entirely suspend the operations of its representation to NATO and also announced that the NATO information bureau in the Russian capital would be shut down. Now, if the bloc wants to talk to Moscow, it must go through its representatives in Brussels.

“If NATO members have any urgent matters, they can contact our ambassador in Belgium, who ensures bilateral relations between Russia and the Kingdom of Belgium,” the minister said.

According to Moscow, the NATO line toward Russia is becoming more and more aggressive, and the “Russian threat” is being inflated in order to strengthen the internal unity of the alliance and create the appearance of its “relevance.”

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