Austria says officer may have spied for Russia for decades

BERLIN (AP) — Austria says a retired colonel in the country’s military is suspected of having spied for Russia since the 1990s.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday that Russia’s charge d’affaires was summoned to the foreign ministry, and Austria’s top diplomat has canceled a planned trip to Russia.

Kurz said the case, and allegations of Russian espionage in the Netherlands, “don’t improve relations between Russia and the European Union.”

He added that “at the moment we’re demanding transparent information from Russia.”

Austria’s Defense Minister Mario Kunasek told reporters that Vienna was warned several weeks ago by a friendly European intelligence agency about the suspected spy.

Kunsaek said the colonel in question retired five years ago. He said the man’s electronic devices, including a laptop, are currently being examined.

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