Austrian colonel ‘spied on Nato for Russia’

A retired Austrian colonel has been unmasked as one of Russia’s key informants about Nato, whose intelligence was likely to have been used to plan the Salisbury poisonings.

Martin Möller, 72 – identified by a pan-European operation involving MI6 – is believed to have dealt directly with the notorious Russian Unit 29155, which worked to destabilise Europe and carried out foreign assassinations, a Telegraph investigation has found. 

On Friday night, Mr Möller admitted he had shared some information in exchange for money, but claimed it only related to Austria and said it was "absolute fiction" that it could have caused any damage or led to the loss of lives.

Earlier this year, he was convicted by a Salzburg court of betraying state secrets, of helping a foreign intelligence organisation to Austria’s detriment and of divulging military secrets. The judge sentenced him to just three years and allowed him to go free immediately, prompting speculation that he was only a small-time spy.

However, The Telegraph can disclose that Mr Möller had access to Nato’s inner workings and that it is the "working assumption" of European security sources that he shared everything with the Russians from 2008 onwards.

Mr Möller is thought to have handed over information about which poisons Nato forces were aware of and could detect easily – intelligence security sources believe was likely to have been used by Russia to select the Novichok nerve agent used in the attack on Sergei Skripal, a former officer in Russia’s GRU spy agency, and his daughter Yulia, in Salisbury in 2018. The attack is believed to have been the work of Unit 29155.

Möller’s lawyer said the former colonel regarded the allegations as "absolute fantasy", did not know about Unit 29155 and that the information he passed on "had no practical value and only had to do with the situation in Austria".