VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria is expelling a Russian diplomat for breaching the Vienna Convention governing diplomats' privileges and immunities, an Austrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday in what a tabloid newspaper reported as an economic espionage case.
"His behaviour is not in accordance with the Vienna Convention," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said, declining to elaborate further on the case, including on details reported in the Kronen Zeitung newspaper.
The Russian Embassy responded on Twitter: "We are outraged by the unfounded decision of the Austrian authorities, which is damaging to constructive relations."
Kronen Zeitung said that for years the Russian had engaged in spying on an Austrian high-tech company with the support of an Austrian working at the firm. The Austrian turned himself in and identified the Russian as his handler. The newspaper did not identify the firm.
The expulsion is notable in Austria, which has been more reluctant than some of its Western neighbours to expel diplomats in the past. Austria declined https://www.reuters.com/article/us-austria-russia-spy/austria-says-it-will-not-expel-any-russians-over-spy-case-idUSKCN1NJ23G to join the majority of EU countries that expelled Russian envoys in 2018 over the poisoning in Britain of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal.
(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Alison Williams and Peter Graff)