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Russia suspends its NATO mission as Defense Secretary visits NATO aspirant countries

Added 10-20-21 12:29:02am EST - “The U.S. Defense Secretary's itinerary to Eastern Europe was bound to anger Moscow, which announced it was shuttering its NATO mission and kicking NATO diplomats out of Moscow.” - Foxnews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Foxnews.com: “Russia suspends its NATO mission as Defense Secretary visits NATO aspirant countries”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

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The U.S. Defense Secretary's itinerary to Eastern Europe was bound to anger Moscow, which announced it was shuttering its NATO mission and kicking NATO diplomats out of Moscow.

"We don't have proper conditions for basic diplomatic activities," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  Moscow blames NATO for not being interested in "equal dialogue or joint efforts to defuse military-political tension." The decision comes after NATO expelled eight diplomats from Russia's mission earlier this month, saying they were working as undeclared intelligence officers.

En route to NATO this week, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin visited Georgia and Ukraine, two NATO aspirant Black Sea neighbors that the Russian military invaded and continue to partly occupy. 

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Ukrainian Defense Minister Andriy Taran share a word as they attend a welcome ceremony ahead of their meeting in Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Gleb Garanich/Pool Photo via AP)

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