The EU called spy scandal with Austria «challenge» from Russia

© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite in fotobanka of Austria in Russia Johannes Aigner in front of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Russian FederationThe EU called spy scandal with Austria «challenge» from Russia© RIA Novosti / Ilya Petliurite the image Bank

The EU is aware of the arrest in Austria of ex-Colonel on charges of espionage in favor of Russia and the decision of the head of the Austrian foreign Ministry to cancel the trip to Russia considers unacceptable interference in the internal Affairs and recognizes in this context the «call» from the Russian Federation, said on Friday, RIA Novosti the official structures of the EU.

«We know about the arrest of an Austrian Colonel, on charges of espionage in favor of Russia, Austria conducted the investigation, and the decision of the Austrian Minister for foreign Affairs to cancel the trip to Moscow», — said the representative, responding to a question whether the EU to discuss this matter with the Chairman of the Union of Austria.

«It is unacceptable disrespect of state sovereignty and interference in their internal Affairs. The EU has always been clear in this respect and acknowledges the call, which is Russia, which is also illustrated by recent discussions in the European Council», — he said.

Earlier the newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported that the former Colonel of the armed forces of Austria detained on suspicion in conducting over 20 years of intelligence activities in favor of Russia. The Russian Embassy declined to comment on the media reports. According to the newspaper, the Colonel had to collect information about the Austrian air force, artillery systems, migration crisis, as well as detailed information about many of the Austrian high-ranking military. The Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he was unpleasantly surprised by information about the situation with the ex-Colonel accused in Austria for espionage in favor of Russia. We also learned that because of the incident, the Austrian foreign Minister Karin Kneissl canceled his visit to Russia.