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Russia slams 'unfounded' Austrian spy accusations

AFP  |  Moscow 

said on Saturday that Austria's "unfounded accusations" in a scandal were unacceptable while expressed hope the affair would not hurt bilateral ties.

On Friday, Austrian said a probe had been launched into a suspected of spying for for several decades.

The row risks hurting Russia's ties with one of its rare European allies.

It is the latest in a string of cases where has been accused of espionage in EU states and elsewhere.

said Austrian called her Russian counterpart to explain Vienna's motives.

She "expressed hope that the steps will not affect the further development of bilateral cooperation," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

Lavrov reiterated Moscow's displeasure that chose to air its grievances in public.

He said the practice of voicing "unfounded accusations" publicly was unacceptable, the foreign ministry said.

"Any possible mutual concerns should be discussed through established channels of dialogue and be based on facts," the statement said.

In August, Kneissl sparked a row in and beyond after she waltzed with Russian and bowed to him at her wedding, with critics saying her behaviour hurt the country's image.

suspects a 70-year-old army of working with for several decades and is investigating him for allegedly revealing state secrets.

Austrian Col told the Kurier newspaper on Saturday that the information passed on by the suspect "ranged from unimportant things to more sensitive information".

However, other suggested that the wasn't in a position to reveal the highest levels of classified data.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 23:50 IST