16:17 Apr. 15, 2016
Russian authorities accused of taping talks with Austrian Chief of Armed Forces
Talks between the Chief of the General Staff of Armed Forces of Russia Valeriy Herasymov and his Austrian counterpart Othmar Commenda in Moscow on April 6 were allegedly recorded by Russians with mini-cameras and hidden microphones. This information is being reported by Austrian ‘Kurier'.
After the negotiations, the tapes were given to several Russian information agencies but in a shortened edited version. "The disclosed records differ greatly from what members of the Austrian delegation talked about", - the media reports.
The conversation was cut and edited together in a certain sequence. For example, the part of the talks concerning the migrant crisis was cut out except for Commenda's words about the close proximity of Austria to the Russian Federation.
"Russia is much closer to Austria than many other big countries in the world", - without the geographical context this statement is taken as Austria's positioning against Europe and rest of the western world.
Moreover, Russian media emphasized that Commenda decided to meet with Herasymov who is on the sanctions list. This means he doesn't support sanctions against Russia. Instead, Commenda didn't go to Moscow with a purpose to meet Russian military officials but accompanied Austria's President Heinz Fischer.
The fact that Russian media had actively spread the video, shows it was a pre-planned operation, reports ‘Kurier'. The paper goes on further referring to Austrian intelligence which says that Russians conducted a classical disinformation operation organized by Russia's military intelligence.
Reporting by Yevropeyska Pravda