12:16 GMT22 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Earlier in the day, Austria declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata over espionage suspicions.

    Russia will respond in kind to Austria's expulsion of a Russian diplomat, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

    "This is [a question] for the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry is usually the one to handle the response. You know that our ambassador has already mentioned the traditional principle of the in-kind response, in one way or another, there will be a response," Peskov told reporters.

    Austrian Ambassador to Moscow Johannes Aigner has been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, and an official letter of protest has been handed to him amid Vienna's unjustified decision to expel a Russian diplomat from the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    Russian Embassy in Austria said on Monday that it was outraged by Vienna's groundless decision to expel Russian diplomat over alleged espionage.

    "We are outraged by the unfounded decision of the Austrian authorities, which is detrimental to constructive Russian-Austrian relations. We are certain that Moscow's response in kind will be coming soon," the embassy said.

    In turn, the Austrian Foreign Ministry confirmed the expulsion of the Russian diplomat.

    "We can confirm that the Russian diplomat will be expelled. His behavior contravenes the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations," the ministry said and refused to comment on any other details.

    The Krone Zeitung reported earlier in the day that the diplomat had until 1 September  to leave the country and was being expelled over espionage suspicions.

    The newspaper suggested that the diplomat was involved in industrial espionage with the help of an Austrian citizen.

    In June, an Austrian court sentenced a retired colonel of the Austrian Armed Forces to three years in prison on charges of espionage for Russia.

    Tags:
    diplomat, espionage, Austria
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