Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s dog overturned protocol on Thursday by biting visiting Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on the hand, Moldovan media reported.
Media reports said the incident occurred when the two leaders were strolling in the courtyard of the presidential residence and Van der Bellen tried to pet the dog, a rescue named Codrut, or small forest.
Sandu apologised in English and explained that the dog had become frightened by large numbers of people nearby. Van Der Bellen appeared with his hand bandaged at his next meeting, with the speaker of Moldova’s parliament.
The talks in Chisinau, attended by Van Der Bellen and the president of Solvenia, focused on the bid by Moldova, which lies between Ukraine and Romania, to join the European Union.
Sandu, who took in the dog after it was hit by a car, posted pictures on social media with her pet and the two presidents.