Russia suspends NATO mission following expulsion of 'intelligence officers'

Sergey Lavrov made the announcement on Monday. Credit: PA

Russia is suspending its mission to NATO, the country's foreign minister confirmed on Monday.Sergey Lavrov announced the move in response to last week's expulsion of eight members of Russia's mission to the military alliance by NATO.NATO claim they were working as clandestine intelligence officers and halved the size of Moscow's team able to work at its headquarters.

A NATO official said: “We can confirm that we have withdrawn the accreditation of eight members of the Russian Mission to NATO, who were undeclared Russian intelligence officers."

Russia will also shut down NATO's military liaison and information offices in Moscow.

Relations between NATO and Russia have been increasingly strained and official talks between them have been limited in recent years.