The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday declared persona non grata four Austrian diplomats in a tit-for-tat move.
In a statement on its website, the ministry said Austrian ambassador Werner Almhofer was summoned in connection with the expulsion of four Russian diplomats from Vienna.
"That unfriendly and unjustified step caused serious damage to bilateral relations, which are already in crisis due to the actions of the Austrian side, and to the international authority of Vienna, which previously positioned itself as an unbiased, neutral state and a platform for international diplomacy," the ministry said.
It added that the Austrian diplomats have to leave Russia by Feb.23.
"The Ambassador's attention was also drawn to the emerging difficulties with visa processing for official Russian delegations traveling to Vienna to participate in multilateral events, which contradicts Austria's obligations as a venue for international meetings. This situation will also not remain without consequences," the ministry said.
Source: Anadolu Agency