Austria expels four Russian diplomats

The Local/AFP
The Local/AFP - [email protected]
Austria expels four Russian diplomats
Austria's Heldenplatz, the area in front of the Hofgburg Palace, in Vienna. (Photo by Simon Berger on Unsplash)

Austria is expelling four Russian diplomats, including two accredited with the United Nations in Vienna, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.


The four diplomats - two of which worked at the Russian Embassy, according to Austria's Foreign Ministry - are alleged to have acted "in a manner incompatible with their diplomatic status," the ministry said, adding they had until February 8th to leave the country.

Austrian media has reported that the diplomats were suspected of espionage. The four man are said to have occupied high-ranking positions, Die Presse said without citing sources. They were informed of their expulsion on Wednesday evening.

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Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg told the newspaper briefly that "we always act when red lines are crossed". Vienna expects that there will be counter measures from Russia.

Diplomatic expulsions are rare in neutral Austria, which enjoyed close relations with Russia before Moscow invaded Ukraine.


In April 2022, Austria expelled four Russian diplomats as part of a coordinated EU reaction after the discovery of alleged killings by Russian troops of Ukrainian civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

Before that, Austria expelled a Russian diplomat accused of espionage in April 2020. 


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The country of nine million has traditionally seen itself as a bridge between the East and West.


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