The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced on Wednesday night the expulsion of eight members of the Russian delegation to the military alliance.

Iran PressEurope: NATO has decided to expel eight Russian diplomats, described as “undeclared intelligence officers”, and halve the size of Russia's mission to the alliance.

Russia rejects claim officers were secretly working as intelligence officers and warns of retaliation

The eight diplomats are expected to leave Brussels, where the alliance is headquartered, by the end of the month. Two other positions that are currently vacant will also be abolished.

This will reduce the size of the Russian mission to NATO in the Belgian capital to 10.

Relations between Nato and Russia have been increasingly strained since Moscow annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014. The two are at odds over Russia’s nuclear missile development, aerial intrusions into Nato airspace and the buzzing of allied ships by fighter planes. 219