Lazy eyes listen
On Thursday, Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen ended up with a bandaged hand in Chisinau after his Moldovan counterpart’s dog, Maia Sandu, did not take kindly to an attempted petting.
Van der Bellen and his Slovenian colleague Natasa Musar had arrived in Moldova to support Sandu’s drive for EU membership.
“Delighted to welcome Presidents Van der Bellen of Austria and Musar of Slovenia to Chisinau today,” Sandu said on X, formerly Twitter. “Our discussions highlighted strong support for Moldova’s EU path, marking a significant moment in our journey towards European accession.”
Sandu introduced her dog Codrut to the visiting leaders as part of a photo opportunity. Sandu and Musar are seen petting the puppy in photos published by Moldovan media.
Just moments later, the Austrian leader bent over to give Codrut a pat on the head as well and the dog responded by biting his fingers. The unfortunate diplomatic incident was captured on TV cameras and shown by the Romanian outlet TVR.
Van der Bellen made no official statement on the incident. His social media account maintained “unwavering support” for Moldova’s EU membership and referred to Austria as “a close partner standing by the side of Moldova in these challenging times.”
Photographers in Chisinau, on the other hand, noticed him with a bandaged hand as he entered the presidential palace and later signed paperwork with Sandu.
On social media earlier this year, Moldova’s president made a great fuss about adopting Codrut, stating that the pup had lost a limb in a vehicle accident and was a rescued stray.
Earlier this month, the EU stated that it would be willing to “finalise the negotiating framework” with Moldova in March 2024 provided all of the measures demanded by the EU were implemented.