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Austria Issues Arrest Warrant For Russian Man Suspected Of Spying

Austria has issued European and international arrest warrants for a Russian man on suspicion of espionage and working for Russia's Military Intelligence (GRU).

Austria's Interior Ministry said on July 26 that it is seeking Igor Zaitsev, a 65-year-old Russian citizen, who is wanted for the "betrayal of state secrets, secret intelligence activities to the detriment of Austria, and the intentional disclosure of military secrets."

Local media reports say that Zaitsev is linked to the case against a retired Austrian military officer who was identified as a suspect who spied for Russia for almost 20 years in November.

The retired Austrian officer's case sparked tensions between Vienna and Moscow, with the countries summoning each other's diplomats over the situation.

Austria is one of the few European countries that has maintained close diplomatic contacts with Moscow despite Russia's actions in Ukraine, and even after the poisoning of ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Britain, which London has blamed on the Kremlin.

Vienna, home to multiple international organizations and a branch of the United Nations, is known as a European espionage hub.

The city also used to be a gateway to communist countries during the Cold War because of its proximity to Eastern Europe.

With reporting by Kurier and Heute
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