Austria is expelling a Russian diplomat, reported TASS citing Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to the Ministry, the Russian's actions are contrary to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
According to Kronen Zeitung, the diplomat is suspected of industrial espionage and must leave Austria by September 1. This is the first time a Russian Foreign Ministry employee has been expelled from Austria.
According to the sources of the newspaper, the Russian diplomat is suspected of collecting information through an Austrian citizen at one of the Austrian high-tech companies.
The Austrian citizen independently informed his management about espionage activities and named the Russian diplomat as his supervisor. The Russian refused to testify and used his diplomatic immunity.
Russia believes that the information about the expulsion of the Russian diplomat from Austria is a misunderstanding, Vladimir Jabarov, the first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, told RIA Novosti.
"We have a good, strong relationship with Austria. Let's assume that all this misunderstanding will be resolved," the senator said.
At the same time, he recalled that in recent months there have been a number of similar incidents with the expulsion of Russian diplomatic mission staff from European countries.
"It is a bad trend that the EU countries started and continue this practice. I think we should think about why this is happening, who is running this anti-Russian campaign," Jabarov said.
According to him, the Russian leadership will make a decision on how to respond to the expulsion of the Russian diplomat.