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Russia vows firm reply to NATO's 'vulgar' expulsion of diplomats


MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia views an attempt to expel two Russian diplomats from NATO's headquarters in Brussels as "a vulgar provocation," the Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The Russian ambassador to NATO said Moscow's reaction to NATO's cancelation of accreditation for the two officials from Russia's NATO delegation and their possible expulsion from Belgium would be firm.

"The response will be clear and tough," Dmitry Rogozin said.

The Foreign Ministry said NATO was attempting to expel the diplomats on "an absolutely far-fetched pretext," and urged all NATO member states to think over the consequences of the action.

"The scandalous move runs counter to NATO leaders' statements on their readiness to improve relations with Russia," it added. "Naturally, we will draw our own conclusions about this provocation."

Rogozin confirmed that one of the two diplomats facing expulsion is the son of Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's ambassador to the EU.

The Financial Times reported Thursday that NATO had acted in response to the spy scandal involving Estonian official Herman Simm, who was convicted in February for passing NATO secrets to Russia.

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