(Bloomberg) -- Russia cut back almost all remaining ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Monday in retaliation for the Western military bloc’s expulsion of eight of its diplomats earlier this month, the latest sign of simmering tension between the former Cold War foes.

The U.S.-led military alliance on Oct. 6 ordered out eight diplomats from Russia’s representation to NATO for allegedly engaging in espionage. Russia said the allegations were groundless.

Russia’s move to suspend the operations of its permanent mission to NATO and the closure of the alliance’s mission and information office in Moscow is a response to the latest, as well as previous, “unfriendly actions,” the Foreign Ministry said in a website statement.

NATO suspended practical cooperation with Russia after its 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula but kept open some lines of communication. 

The two sides have been increasingly at odds over Russia’s nuclear re-armament, buzzing of NATO airspace by Russian planes and naval stand-offs. 

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