Moscow protests over Austria’s actions in case of ex-colonel accused of spying for Russia

Austria’s statements and actions over the case of an ex-colonel accused of spying for Moscow are based on suspicions, and there is no evidence backing them up, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said earlier in the day that a former colonel in the Austrian military had been suspected of spying for Russia over the course of about two decades. Austrian Ambassador to Russia Johannes Aigner was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday afternoon over the diplomatic incident. “We emphasized that the steps taken by Vienna, based on suspicions without any evidence whatsoever, have already led to the complication of our relations, which until recently enjoyed a positive dynamic,” the statement said, according to Sputnik. The ministry handed Aigner an official protest, and informed him that Moscow is “puzzled” by the fact that its Austrian partners “chose not to discuss their suspicions with us through the established channels of dialogue.”