The Austrian Foreign Ministry stated that the country is cooperating with U.S authorities in order to investigate a reported outbreak of cases of “Havana syndrome”, among U.S diplomats in Vienna.
Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary-of-State, stated last month that his country is undertaking a governmentwide review into what it believes were “directed” radio frequency attack on U.S. diplomats. This led to neurological disorders that first surfaced in the Cuban capital in 2016.
According to The New Yorker, approximately two dozen U.S. diplomats, intelligence officers and officials have reported similar symptoms to Havana syndrome since January when President Joe Biden assumed office. This makes it the second-biggest hotspot, after Havana.
“We take these reports very serious and in accord with our role of host state, we are working together with the U.S authorities on jointly getting at the bottom of it,” Austria’s Foreign Ministry stated in a brief statement.
“The safety and well-being of diplomats in Vienna and their families is our top priority.”
The U.S. Embassy Vienna declined to comment and referred questions to the State Department.
Vienna was once a center of Cold War intrigue. Today, Vienna houses several U.N agencies and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. This means that larger countries like Russia and the United States often have three diplomats and a strong diplomatic presence.
Vienna has been a center for spying and diplomatic activity since many spies operate in diplomatic cover.
According to the website of Austria’s Foreign Ministry, 158 U.S. Diplomats are currently posted in Vienna.