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    Police guard in front of Palais Coburg where closed-door nuclear talks with Iran take place in Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014

    Russia Dismisses Austria's New Spying Claims as Pure Disinformation

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow regrets the fact that Vienna is trying to revive the "spy mania" by putting a Russian national on a wanted list on suspicion of spying for the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) "to the detriment of the Republic of Austria", the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

    "We deeply regret that there are those who want to revive the 'hot story' circulated in November of last year about the Russian spies in the Alpine Republic, which we, with our Austrian partners - in our understanding - have closed", the ministry said in a commentary.

    "Since such disinformation is not aimed at a serious discussion on the merits [otherwise it would be carried out through other channels], we don’t see any reason to comment on it", the ministry added.

    The statement comes after the prosecutor's office of the Austrian city of Salzburg announced on 25 July that Russian spy suspect Igor Zaitsev is a high-ranking Russian military intelligence officer, who recruited a retired Austrian colonel to steal state and military secrets.

    In November, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz confirmed that the retired Austrian colonel was suspected of espionage for Moscow and demanded that the Russian side provided "transparent" information on the matter.

    Moscow in response expressed protest to Austrian Ambassador to Russia Johannes Aigner over the accusations. The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Vienna's steps were based on suspicions without evidence, adding that Austria's statements over the spy scandal had already complicated bilateral relations.

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    desinformation, accusations, spying, Russia, Austria
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