Austria expels four Russian diplomats. Last Minute Austria, Russia headlines and events
Austria has decided to expel four Russian diplomats who were in the country. The reason was that the diplomats in question did not comply with international rules. This justification is known as a reason frequently cited in espionage allegations.
Having made a statement on this matter, the Austrian Foreign Ministry has not yet shared the details of the decision. However, with the addition of 4 more diplomats, the number of Russian diplomats expelled by Austria from their country since 2020 has reached 9. Compared to other European countries, Austria is so far reluctant to expel Russian diplomats for various reasons.
Finally, the two Russian diplomats who were deported were also diplomatically declared persona non grata by Austria and were asked to leave the country by 8 February. It was announced that the two men were diplomats working at the Austrian embassy in Russia. It was clarified that two other Russian diplomats, in respect of whom the decision was made to deport, were seconded to the Russian mission in the Vienna branch of the UN.
In a statement from the Austrian Foreign Ministry: “Two diplomats in the Russian embassy did not act in accordance with their diplomatic position. For this reason, they were declared persona non grata in accordance with Article 9 of the Venice Convention on the Fundamentals of Diplomatic Relations.
The same statement indicated that two Russian diplomats who worked at the UN mission were deported for their behavior against the rules of the host country in force between the UN and Austria.
However, the ministry did not provide any details about the behavior or activities of these Russian diplomats, and a spokesman for the ministry left unanswered questions about it.
The Russian Embassy in Vienna, the capital of Austria, did not respond to questions about this.
Some unnamed sources said espionage was the reason for the decision. The same sources also shared information that Russian diplomats expelled this time have a higher status than Russian diplomats expelled from Austria along with European countries last year. However, there is no ambassador at the level of the deportees.
In August 2020, Austria expelled a Russian diplomat from his country for economic espionage.
Vienna, the capital of Austria, is home to international organizations including the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Countries like Russia have diplomats in Vienna who they individually appoint to all these international institutions. In this context, Russia has more than 140 employees of the diplomatic mission in Austria.
Russia is also expected to expel four diplomats from Austria as part of reciprocity.
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