Dozens of allies of Great Britain have all Russian diplomats expelled in the aftermath of the poisoning of the former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter. In the list of countries which the boat away, there are two: New Zealand and Austria.
New Zealand, a member of the Commonwealth with still the British Queen as head of state, share, say that the outrage over the facts and would like to participate. But, said prime minister Jacinda …
New Zealand, a member of the Commonwealth with still the British Queen as head of state, share, say that the outrage over the facts and would like to participate. But, said prime minister Jacinda Ardern, ‘there are no individuals who meet the profile of Russian intelligence officers that are not so marked. If they were, we would already have taken action.”
New Zealand shares, however, information within a network with the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia – the ‘five eyes’. Ardern says he is not surprised about the lack of interest of Russia to her country: “it Surprises me that New Zealand is not at the top of their list? Not a real one?’ The damage for Ardern remains for now limited to what sarcastic articles in the British media.
Austria can’t complain about a lack of Russian double agents. According to Florian Horcicka, that is, in 2016, wrote a book on the topic, continues to Vienna a spionagenest for western and non-western spies. He estimates their number at 6000 à 7,000 people, among whom fewer than 600 Russians.
During the Cold War, the Austrian neutrality is already a great attraction to diplomats with a special mission. In Vienna are also important international institutions such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that Iran’s nuclear controls, and the Organization of countries-oil exporting (Opec). Moreover, it is espionage in Austria is not a crime if there is no Austrian interests could be harmed or Austrian state secrets to be revealed.
The new chancellor Sebastian Kurz wants his country to re-establish itself as a bridge-builder between East and West and is committed to fulfill the door to Moscow to keep it open. That’s why all Russian diplomats and spies both of their ears, continue to sleep in their fancy Viennese buildings. That peace of mind they have is also due to the coalition partner of Kurz: the far-right FPÖ is good friends with the party and the regime of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
The Latvian Mep Artis Pabriks, former minister of Foreign Affairs of his country, mentions the Austrian attitude ‘a bad joke’. Any other European decisions fits Kurz not in Austria?’
That also Cyprus and Malta no Russian diplomats/spies show, arouses neither surprise. They maintained traditionally good relations with Moscow, and it circulates a lot of Russian money in the economies of the two small EU member states. They both have a lucrative system of golden visa that much money in the coffers and where many wealthy Russians take advantage to access and use the EU to provide.