The North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO is currently removing Russian diplomats and officers in its headquarters in Brussels. According to anonymous sources, the policy was put into effect based on information that half of the Russian delegates working in the Brussels headquarters are secretly working for Russia’s intelligence services.
Russian spies removed from NATO headquarters
In April, NATO put a limit to the number of delegations from member states that should work in its headquarters in Brussels. The ceiling count has now been limited to 30, The Guardian reported. Among NATO’s member states, Russia is the only delegation that has more than 30 diplomats and officers working at the headquarters, The Guardian noted. Hence, it is the only member state affected by the new policy put in effect.
Russia is said to be having 61 to 90 officials working at the headquarters in Brussels, anonymous sources told The Guardian. Half of this estimated number of Russian delegates are believed to be working as spies for Russia, the unidentified NATO official told The Guardian.
While all member states are instructed to follow the new policy in place, unnamed NATO insiders confirmed that the rule was specifically aimed at diminishing Russian intelligence working discreetly at NATO headquarters. The sources said only Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Alexander Grushko, his deputy, his secretary and his driver are allowed to roam without security inside the NATO offices.
NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg denied the allegation. He, however, confirmed that Russia is the only member state with more than 30 delegations working at the headquarters.
“The ceiling is set at 30, which is high and which applies to all delegations. It is not aimed at any particular delegation or a particular country. As far as I know, my impression is that this is something that is accepted and is now going to be implemented over some months,” Stoltenberg said.
“With the Russians we have decided to suspend all practical co-operation but to maintain the channels of political and military dialogue and contact. A delegation of 30 is more than enough to do that.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin takes jab at US, NATO
Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin warned against a “unipolar world” created by military alliances. The statement is believed to be discreetly aimed at NATO-US alliance, The Wall Street Journal noted.
“We have seen attempts to create a unipolar world. We see how military-bloc thinking is gaining force. All this undermines the sustainability of global development,” Mr Putin was quoted as saying during the Victory Day parade.
“Our common goal should be the development of a system of equal security for all governments. System adequate [to deal with] modern threats, built on regional and global nonaligned bases. Only then can we ensure peace and tranquility in the world,” Mr Putin said.
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