Austria demanding transparent information from Russia on alleged espionage: chancellor

VIENNA, Nov.9 (Xinhua) — Austria is demanding transparent information from the Russian side for the moment on alleged espionage, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday.

“If the suspicion is confirmed, such cases, whether in the Netherlands or in Austria, don’t improve the relationship between Russia and the European Union,” Kurz noted.

Austrian law enforcement agencies are investigating a retired colonel who allegedly worked for the Russian intelligence since the 1990s until this year, Kurz said earlier in the day.

Kurz added he would discuss the issue with his European partners.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday told Austrian ambassador to Russia Johannes Aigner that Vienna’s accusation that a retired Austrian colonel spied for Russia is based on suspicion without any evidence.

The ministry said in a statement that it summoned Aigner and expressed a protest.

Vienna’s moves have complicated the Russian-Austrian relations, which until recently had a positive dynamic, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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