European news agencies say that NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will proceed to expel eight officials of the Russian representation, believed to be agents of the GRU, the secret services of Moscow. According to the sources, the eight spies would have carried out “hostile activities” in recent months.
In April 2021, Czech Republic had asked EU and NATO allies to expel Russian 18 diplomats over spying. It is unknown if the 8 Russian spies to be expelled are a part of Prague’s request.
Prague had identified the Russian intelligence officers and demanded that they leave the Czech Republic over links to an explosion at a privately operated arms depot in 2014.
Moscow had denied any involvement in the arms depot blast that killed two people and has retaliated by expelling 20 Czech officials from Moscow.
In March 2018, NATO had expelled Russian diplomats to show solidarity with the UK. About 26 countries expelled the Russian diplomats during the incident. As per the UK, a Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned on 4 March in the southern English city of Salisbury. As per the investigators, a military-grade nerve agent was used.