Austria suspects colonel spied for Russia for decades

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Vienna wants answers after finding that an Austrian army colonel may have been passing information to the Russians. Foreign Minister Kneissl has summoned the Russian ambassador and canceled a trip to Russia.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday that a retired colonel in the Austrian army is suspected of having spied for Russia for several decades.

Kurz said the colonel is thought to have begun working with Russian intelligence in the 1990s and continued until 2018.

“Of course, if such cases are confirmed, whether it be in the Netherlands or in Austria, it can’t improve the relationship between the EU and Russia,” Kurz said, referring to the expulsion of four Russian agents by the Netherlands in April for allegedly planning a cyber-attack on the world’s chemical weapons watchdog in The Hague.

“Russian spying in Europe is unacceptable and to be condemned,” Kurz added

Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl has summoned the Russian ambassador over the matter and canceled an upcoming trip to Russia, Kurz added.

Austrian Defense Minister Mario Kunasek said the case came to light “a few weeks ago” as a result of information from another European intelligence agency.

av/sms  (AFP, Reuters)

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