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Moscow vows retaliation for NATO's expulsion of Russian diplomats

 
Moscow, Oct 7 (IANS) Moscow would retaliate following the decision made by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to expel eight Russian diplomats, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"NATO's reluctance to interact has become obvious, and this seems to be definitive and irrevocable. We will proceed from this when developing response measures, which will follow," said Russia Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova during her weekly press briefing.

She added that while the alliance's decision did not come as a surprise, it was nonetheless an arrogant and hypocritical move, especially as no official explanations were provided.

Meanwhile, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday the bloc's decision to expel the Russian diplomats in response to alleged "malign activities" completely undermined the prospects for the normalization of Russia's ties with the alliance.

On Wednesday, NATO announced the expulsion of eight members of Russia's mission to the military alliance in Brussels, calling them "undeclared Russian intelligence officers." Additionally, the number of Russian staff at the mission was reduced by half from 20 to 10 employees.

--IANS
int/skp/