The Moldovan president, Maia Sandu, faced an unconventional breach of protocol when her dog, Codrut, bit the hand of visiting Austrian president Alexander Van der Bellen during a stroll in the courtyard of the Moldovan presidential residence in Chișinău on Thursday.
Apologizing in English, President Sandu explained that the rescue dog, whose name means “small forest,” was frightened by the large crowd nearby.
In the aftermath, Van der Bellen attended his next meeting with the speaker of Moldova’s parliament, sporting a bandaged hand.
In a Friday Instagram video, Van der Bellen expressed sympathy for the dog, highlighting his own passion for canines. Despite the incident, he described his meeting with Sandu and other officials as “very good” and mentioned gifting a small toy to Codrut on the last day of his visit.
The talks in Chișinău, attended by Van der Bellen and Slovenian president Nataša Pirc Musar, centered on Moldova’s EU membership aspirations. President Sandu, who had rescued Codrut after a car accident, shared images on social media featuring her dog alongside the two visiting presidents.