MOSCOW, 28 Mar — RIA Novosti. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday announced that the Alliance decided to reduce from 30 to 20 the number of employees of permanent mission of Russia to NATO as the response in connection with an incident in Salisbury.
“The Council reduces the maximum number of employees of permanent mission of Russia to NATO for 10 persons in accordance with my decision. This leads to the fact that the number of employees is 20 people,” — said Stoltenberg.
According to NATO Secretary General, “this gives a clear signal to Russia that there are costs and consequences for unacceptable and dangerous behaviors” and “it follows the absence of a constructive Russian response to what happened in Salisbury”.
“Our actions reflect serious concerns about security expressed by all the allies, and are part of a coordinated international response to Russia’s behavior. They are proportionate and consistent with our legal obligations,” — said in a statement, the NATO Secretary General.
NATO policy towards Russia will not change
Stoltenberg said that the decision to reduce the number of staff of the Russian representative at the organization for 10 persons in response to the incident in Salisbury does not change the policy of the Alliance against Russia.
“NATO remains committed to the dual approach of a strong defense, and openness to dialogue,” he said.
The Secretary General also noted that Brussels is preparing to hold the next meeting of the Council Russia — NATO, which plans to continue “meaningful dialogue” with Moscow.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia will respond to the “rudeness” of Western countries that expelled Russian diplomats for the case of the poisoning of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal.
“Will reply, no doubt because such rudeness to demolish, of course, nobody wants, and we will not” — said the Minister to journalists in Tashkent.
According to the Minister, the situation around the “business Skripal” proves that in the world there are not many countries conducting an independent policy.
“The obvious conclusion is that we were right when they emphasized several times how little remains of independent countries in the modern world, in modern Europe”, — said Lavrov.
Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov, in turn, said that “Russia will be guided by the principle of reciprocity”.
According to him, the Kremlin and the foreign Ministry to analyze the situation. “The main analysis will be conducted in our diplomatic office. After that, the President will be reported proposals to be submitted proposals about retaliatory steps,” he told reporters.
Peskov added that the final decision will be made by the head of state.
Previously the 16 countries of the European Union and also the USA, Canada, Norway, Ukraine and some other countries took the decision to expel Russian diplomats in connection with an incident in Salisbury. Total to leave the country will have 151 Diplomatico.
In Salisbury on March 4, was poisoned by the ex-Colonel of the GRU, Sergei Skripal, who worked for the British secret service, and his daughter Julia. The British side claims that the poisoning Skrobala substance A234 involved in the Russian government, Russia is categorically denied.
Which countries send the Russian diplomats