© REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA, October 9. /TASS/. The Austrian intelligence services have detained on Thursday an Austrian colonel who has spied for Russia for 20 years, the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung reported on Friday, citing the Austrian Ministry of Defense.

It emerged that an investigation is being carried out for a 70-year-old retired colonel who has allegedly transferred information about the migration crisis, the Austrian military aircraft and artillery systems to Russian military intelligence services since the late 1990s. According to the newspaper, the colonel from Salzburg received about 300,000 euros for his services. “We are very glad that we managed to determine the suspect,” the Austrian Ministry of Defense stated.

The report says that the Austrian contacted an agent in the Russian intelligence services, “Yuri,” once in two weeks and gave him classified documents. The Austrian Army Counterintelligence Service noted that it became possible to derail the colonel’s spying after the Russian intelligence services had transmitted him a signal saying that the Austrian side had disclosed him. Austrian prosecutors launched a criminal case against the retired colonel under a section about work for a foreign military intelligence services. The suspect may face two years behind bars under this section.

Austrian Minister of Defense Mario Kunasek is going to summon the Russian military attache in Austria over the case of the retired Austrian colonel suspected of alleged spying for Russia, Kronen Zeitung reported, citing the Austrian Ministry of Defense.

“Spying against a neutral country is unacceptable,” Kunasek stated. He said he will summon today the Russian military attache to the Austrian Ministry of Defense.

The Russian Embassy in Austria did not comment on the reports of the colonel’s detention and the summoning of the Russian military attache to the Austrian Ministry of Defense.

“No comment,” spokesman for the embassy Bulat Khaidarov told TASS.

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