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NATO expels 8 ‘intelligence officers’ from Russian mission to alliance

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BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (Reuters) – NATO has withdrawn the accreditation of eight members of Russia’s mission to the alliance who were “undeclared Russian intelligence officers”, a NATO official said on Wednesday.

A senior Russian lawmaker said Moscow would retaliate, the Interfax news agency reported.

“We can also confirm that we have reduced the number of positions which the Russian Federation can accredit to NATO to 10,” the NATO official said.

“NATO’s policy towards Russia remains consistent. We have strengthened our deterrence and defence in response to Russia’s aggressive actions, while at the same time we remain open for a meaningful dialogue.”

Interfax cited Leonid Slutsky, head of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, as saying that Moscow would not necessarily retaliate in kind.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Andrey Ostroukh Writing by John Chalmers; editing by John Stonestreet)

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