Kremlin says move to suspend Russian mission to NATO underscores absence of ties

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FILE PHOTO: Banners displaying the NATO logo are placed at the entrance of new NATO headquarters during the move to the new building

MOSCOW – The Kremlin said on Tuesday that a Russian decision to halt the work of its diplomatic mission to NATO in retaliation for the expulsion of eight Russians accused of spying was a recognition of the fact that Moscow had no ties with the alliance.

Russia said on Monday it would halt the activities of its diplomatic mission to NATO and that staff at NATO’s military mission in Moscow would be stripped of their accreditation from Nov. 1, and that the alliance’s information office in the Russian capital would be shuttered.

“The situation which existed de facto has now been legalised formally,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “There were no ties (between Russia and NATO.)…We won’t suffer from this.”

(Reporting by Dmitry Antonov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)