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Archive for Austria

Newsline: Austria summons Russian ambassador for tweeting inflammatory statements

The Austrian government has announced that it summons the Russian ambassador to the country, Mikhail Ulyanov, over a controversial Twitter message in which he wrote “No mercy for the Ukrainian people” before qualifying that he was in fact accusing the Ukrainian authorities of rejecting any diplomatic efforts to end the war. Ulyanov reacted on Twitter to a news story about the new military aid package announced by the United States with the aforementioned message. Ulyanov’s arguments have not convinced the Austrian authorities. “We are outraged by the inhuman statements of the Russian Permanent Representative and his attempts to put into perspective what cannot be put into perspective,” a spokeswoman for the Austrian Foreign Ministry has made known in a written statement picked up by ORF. “While the Ministry defends freedom of expression, it is also free to resolutely oppose such inflammatory statements,” the spokeswoman added before confirming that the ambassador is summoned on Sunday. (https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/austria-summons-russian-ambassador-for-tweeting-no-mercy-for-the-ukrainian-people/ar-AA10SrQI) The ambassador, also his country’s representative to international institutions in Vienna, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), shortly afterwards deleted the tweet and claimed that his intention was to accuse Kiev of ignoring the population and “categorically rejecting diplomatic efforts to focus exclusively on the Western arms buildup.”

Newsline: Austria to Reopen Embassy in Baghdad

On 1 September, Austria’s embassy in Baghdad will reopen after being vacant since 1991. Western diplomats had left the city at that time, including the Austrian ambassador. Austria’s representation in Baghdad has not been occupied since 1991. At that time, Western dipolmats, including the then Austrian ambassador, had left the city. According to the “Kurier”, which refers to “well-informed circles”, the embassy is to be “housed in a protected, international area as a first step”. At present, there is no official confirmation. The website of the Austrian Foreign Ministry continues to state “The Austrian Embassy in Baghdad is closed for security reasons”. Security level 6 applies to the entire country – “all travel is warned against!” (https://www.vindobona.org/article/diplomatic-relations-with-iraq-austrias-embassy-in-baghdad-to-be-reopened) At present, consular duties for Iraq are performed by the Austrian Embassy in Amman, Yemen. Austrians in distress cannot be provided with consular assistance as long as they are on Iraqi territory.

Newsline: Austria expels Russian diplomat amid ‘spy’ reports, Moscow expels Austrian envoy in response

Austria said it is expelling a Russian diplomat for violating envoy privileges, causing Russia to expel an Austrian diplomat in response. The Austrian Foreign Ministry said the Russian envoy is being ordered to leave as his behaviour was not compatible with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the Austria Press Agency reported. Austria’s Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported the Russian diplomat was allegedly involved in economic espionage at a technology firm for years and was aided by an Austrian citizen. The daily said he has until September 1 to leave. Within hours of Vienna’s announcement, Russia declared an Austrian diplomat as non grata after summoning Austrian Ambassador Johannes Aigner. (https://www.euronews.com/2020/08/24/austria-expels-russian-diplomat-amid-spy-reports-moscow-expels-austrian-envoy-in-response) The move comes two months after a retired Austrian army colonel was sentenced to three years in prison for spying for Russia in a separate case. Less than a week ago, Norway also expelled a Russian diplomat linked to an unrelated case of a man jailed on accusations of spying for Russia.

Newsline: Former ambassador to Austria buys North Palm Beach house for $6M

A former ambassador to Austria under President George W. Bush bought a North Palm Beach house for $6 million. Under a trust in her name, Susan Rasinski McCaw bought the 5,000-square-foot house at 12184 West End in Lost Tree Village, according to records. (https://therealdeal.com/miami/2020/08/25/former-ambassador-to-austria-buys-north-palm-beach-house-for-6m/) Susan McCaw was appointed ambassador in 2005 and left the position in 2007, according to the U.S. Department of State’s website. She is based in Seattle and is president of private investment firm SRM Capital Investments, according to her LinkedIn. In 1998, McCaw married Craig McCaw, a mobile phone pioneer who sold McCaw Cellular Communications in 1994 to AT&T for $12.6 billion, according to Forbes. He also led telecommunications companies Nextel and Clearwire. Forbes currently pegs his net worth at $1.8 billion.

Newsline: Russia protests Austrian decision to expel Russian diplomat

Russia’s embassy in Vienna protested on Monday over what it said was a groundless decision by Austrian authorities to expel a Russian diplomat, the TASS news agency reported. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-austria-diplomat/russia-protests-austrian-decision-to-expel-russian-diplomat-tass-idUSKBN25K0V2) The Russian diplomat has been given until Sept. 1 to leave Austria, Austrian media were cited as saying on Friday.

Newsline: U.S. Embassy in Vienna partners with McDonald’s in Austria

Americans who find themselves in need of U.S. government assistance while in Austria can now seek help at one of almost 200 McDonald’s restaurants around the country. The U.S. Embassy in Vienna posted a photo on its Facebook page late last week heralding the new “Memorandum of Agreement” with the fast-food giant, under which restaurant staff will be trained to connect U.S. citizens to the embassy via a new hotline phone number. “American citizens traveling in Austria who find themselves in distress and without a way to contact the U.S. Embassy can enter – as of May 15, 2019 – any McDonald’s in Austria, and staff will assist them in making contact with the U.S. Embassy for consular services,” the embassy said. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/us-embassy-mcdonalds-restaurants-austria-hotline-americans-consular-service-2019-05-15/) The service may to prove useful for Americans who lose their passports and either don’t have cellphones that work in Europe, or don’t have the means to find a phone number for the embassy.

Newsline: Austria to reopen embassy in Oman

Austria will reopen its embassy in Muscat early next year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday. In an online statement, the ministry said, “The Republic of Austria will reopen its embassy in Muscat early next year, 2019. This came during the reception of His Excellency Yusif bin Alawi, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs with Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of Austria Karin Kneissl, who is currently visiting the Sultanate. This would enhance bilateral relations between the two friendly countries in various fields.”

https://timesofoman.com/article/589708/Oman/Government/Austria-to-reopen-embassy-in-Oman

Newsline: 2 detained after shooting near Austrian Embassy in Turkey

Turkish authorities detained two people following a drive-by shooting near the Austrian Embassy in capital Ankara early Sunday. The governor’s office said in a statement the two suspects were detained and their weapon confiscated. It said the suspects were thought to be under the influence of alcohol.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/

Newsline: Russian Foreign Ministry summons Austrian ambassador

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has summoned Austrian Ambassador to Moscow Johannes Eigner over Vienna’s statements about a retired Austrian Army officer’s suspected involvement in espionage for Moscow, a ministry source told TASS. “The Russian Foreign Ministry has summoned the Austrian ambassador,” the source said. Media reports say that Austria has opened an investigation into a 70-year-old retired colonel, suspected of working for Russian intelligence agencies since the 1990s, providing Moscow with information about Austria’s air force, artillery and the migration crisis. If found guilty, the colonel may face two years in prison. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Defense Minister Mario Kunasek have confirmed the espionage investigation. Austrian Foreign Minister Karin Kneissl canceled visit to Russia over the espionage incident.

http://tass.com/politics/1030070

Newsline: Iranian diplomat in Austria held over Paris bomb plot

Austria is preparing to strip the diplomatic immunity from an Iranian envoy suspected of planning to bomb Iranian politicians in France. The diplomat and two other arrested people are suspected of plotting to attack a meeting of exiled opposition members in Paris last weekend. Tehran denies any involvement. The diplomatic tension comes a day before President Hassan Rouhani is due to arrive in Austria to discuss a disputed nuclear deal. Two Belgian nationals apprehended in Brussels are reported to be husband and wife, and to be of Iranian origin. The Iranian diplomat, identified as Assadollah A, is ordinarily based in the Austrian capital. But he was arrested in Germany.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44696311