MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. Austria didn’t issue any specific accusations that would explain the expulsion of four Russian diplomats, Russian ambassador in Vienna Dmitry Lyubinsky said on Thursday.
"No concrete complaints about our diplomats have been issued, except unsubstantiated assertions and incomprehensible references to the opinions of the special services," he said on Rossiya-24 television.
According to Lyubinsky, this morning the Russian Embassy in Austria and the Russia’s Permanent Mission to International Organizations received two separate diplomatic notes stating that two diplomats of the embassy and two employees of the permanent mission should leave Austria by February 8.
Lyubinsky said the embassy faced a similar situation in April last year, when there was a series of mass expulsions of Russian diplomats from Western countries.
"In early April, I had a meeting with [Austrian] Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, and he assured me then that there would be no groundless expulsions from Austria, but literally no later than 24 hours afterward we experienced just that, and the same thing is happening now," the ambassador said.
The Austrian Foreign Ministry said earlier on Thursday that four Russian diplomats accredited in the country had been declared persona non grata. The ministry asserted that two diplomats from the Russian embassy had allegedly "committed actions incompatible with their diplomatic status" and the two other diplomats, from Russia’s permanent mission to the UN, "took actions incompatible with the Headquarters Agreement." They were ordered to leave Austria by February 8.