Russia Declares Austrian Diplomat Persona Non Grata in Response to Vienna's Earlier Decision
13:04 GMT 24.08.2020(updated 13:50 GMT 24.08.2020)
Earlier in the day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow will respond in kind to Austria's expulsion of a Russian diplomat.
Russia has declared an Austrian diplomat persona non grata in response to Vienna's earlier decision to expel a Russian diplomat, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Moscow declared an Austrian diplomat persona non grata in a reciprocal response, according to the press release.
Earlier, Austrian Ambassador to Russia was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
"On August 24, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Austrian Ambassador to Russia Johannes Eigner. The ambassador was handed a strong protest with regard to Austria's unfounded decision to revoke the accreditation of a Russian diplomat and demand that they leave the Austrian territory," the ministry said.
Previously, Austria declared a Russian diplomat persona non grata over espionage suspicions. According to a report by the Krone Zeitung, the diplomat has until 1 September to leave the country. The newspaper suggested that he was involved in industrial espionage with the help of an Austrian citizen.
Also in August, Slovakia expelled three Russian diplomats from the country on suspicion of espionage. In June, two employees of the Russian embassy were expelled from Prague, the Czech Republic. In each case, Russia provided a reciprocal response to the expulsions.
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