MOSCOW, November 10. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Karin Kneissl discussed a case of espionage over the telephone on Saturday, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"The Russian side emphasized the unacceptability of the practice of raising public unsubstantiated accusations going against the norms of international communication. It was noted that any possible mutual concerns should be discussed through established channels of dialogue and on the basis of facts," the Ministry’s report said.
In turn, Kneissl expressed hope that the espionage case would not affect bilateral relations between the countries. According to the Ministry, the ministers discussed "the situation in the Russian-Austrian relations, which arose in connection with the statements of the Austrian authorities about alleged involvement of a former officer of the Austrian armed forces in the intelligence activities in favor of Russia. Kneissl explained the Vienna’s motives in making certain decisions, and expressed hope that those steps will not affect further development of bilateral cooperation".
Earlier, Kneissl canceled the visit to Russia scheduled for December 2-3, and warned the relations between the two countries may become complicated.
It was reported on November 9, that Austria has opened an investigation into a 70-year-old retired colonel, suspected of working for Russian intelligence agencies since the 1990s, providing Moscow with information about Austria’s air force, artillery and the migration crisis. If found guilty, the colonel may face up to 10 years in prison.