On November 10, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted a news item about a telephone conversation between Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, and Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl.
According to the post, the two ministers discussed the situation surrounding an Austrian military officer recently accused of spying for Russia starting as early as 1992. The statement said Lavrov considered this a case of putting forward “unsubstantiated accusations” that go against the “norms of international dialogue.”
In fact, the suspected Austrian army colonel in question confessed to spying, according to the Austrian newspaper Die Presse. And even the Russian state media outlet Sputnik reported on his confession, citing the Die Presse article.
Austria’s Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl, who danced with Russian President Vladimir Putin at her wedding this past August, cancelled her upcoming visit to Moscow amid the spy scandal.
Some observers see this espionage scandal as an embarrassment for Austria, which refused to join other European nations in expelling Russian diplomats following the Skripal poisonings, in which Russia’s intelligence services have been implicated.