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Monday, 7 April 2014

Russian diplomats face NATO HQ restrictions

BRUSSELS. -NATO has decided to limit access to its Brussels headquarters to Russian diplomats from Tuesday.
“The formerly extensive access to NATO headquarters will be denied to all representatives of the Russian Mission, except the Russian Ambassador, his Deputy Head of Mission, and two support staff”, according to a NATO official statement on Monday.
The Alliance said that other staff from the Russian mission requiring access for official business would have to be announced, registered and escorted during their visit.

NATO has defended the move, saying it still gives Russian diplomats a level of access to its HQ which has never been reciprocated by any Russian ministry or institution to NATO staff working in Moscow.
  • This measure follows NATO ministers’ decision on April 1 to suspend all practical cooperation with Russia, civilian and military, as a consequence of Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine. 
  • The move comes as NATO and the European Union said they would “closely watch” Ukraine after pro-Moscow activists took over government buildings in Donetsk in the east of the country, demanding a Crimea-style referendum on joining the Russian Federation. 
  • A spokesperson for the EU's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, on Monday underlined the independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine, repeating the EU’s support of the government in Kiev.
  • NATO army officials stated Monday they had not observed any distinct change in the position of Russian forces near Ukraine’s eastern border. 
Russia unilaterally annexed Ukraine's Crimea peninsula after taking control of the region on February 26-27 when gunmen, believed to be Russian special forces, seized the regional parliament and Simferopol's airport.
In a controversial referendum held on March 16, Crimea voted to secede from Kiev in favor of unification with Moscow.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill that officially incorporated Crimea into the Russian Federation on March 21.
[aa.com.tr]
7/4/14

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