NATO-Russia diplomatic row

Written by The Frontier Post

The Russian government reciprocated NATO’s move by suspending the work of its permanent mission to NATO headquarters in Brussels since the beginning of November after the North Atlantic Alliance revoked the accreditation of eight employees of the Russian permanent mission. According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Russia suspended the work of its permanent mission to NATO as a response to Brussels based Transatlantic military alliance, including the work of Russia’s chief military representative from November 1. The Russian Foreign Minister also told the media that his country is going to suspend the activities of the NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow, and the accreditation of its staff will be revoked from November 1, along with a ban on the activities of the NATO Information Office in Moscow from the same day. According to Lavrov, Moscow does not believe that any changes in Russia’s relations with NATO would be possible in the future because NATO is not interested in any equal dialogue.
In fact, the North Atlantic defense alliance was established by two North American nations (United States and Canada) and their 10 European allies to deter the threat from the former Soviet Union on 4 April 1949. Over the years, NATO membership grew from 12 founding nations to 30 states of Europe and North America. The prime objective and sole purpose of NATO’s formation was obtained after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union in 1991, however western allies carried forward their military alliance while altering the role and task of their alliance. The Soviet specific NATO enhanced its role across the world and took active part in military campaigns in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and other regions in the world. NATO and Russian Federation mend their ties through adoption of NATO-Russia Founding Act and formation of Permanent Joint Council (PJC) consisting of officials from both parties in May 1997. The two parties ended their hostilities and started regular consultations on security issues, dialogue, and constructive engagement between them. These developments led to the imposition of representatives of Russia and NATO in Brussels and Moscow respectively. However, this healthy trend could not last long and differences between the parties emerged after Russia invasion of Georgia and NATO involvement in Yugoslavia, and both NATO and Russia remarried several times after divorces over the last two decades.
This time, the bilateral relations between Russia and NATO deteriorated gradually after the alleged Russian interference in US Presidential elections followed by the cyber-attacks on US government critical infrastructure and western firms. On the other hand, the Russian government remained critical of NATO’s hegemonic and authoritative behavior against Russia during the recent past. Recently, NATO expelled 8 members of Russian permanent mission to6 NATO headquarters while labeling them as Russian Intelligence Officers instead of diplomatic officials on October 6. NATO’s move was swiftly responded to by the Russian Federation through suspension of all bilateral arrangements and activities along with terminations of accreditation of concerned staff.
According to experts, the NATO-Russia cooperation was started by former Russian President Boris Yeltsin under his Russia-NATO Partnership doctrine, however during Putin’s regime Russia adopted an assertive policy and projected its influence across the world while posing challenges to the United States and NATO in various parts of the world. Therefore, NATO Russia reunion is less likely to happen in the days to come.

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