Moldovan President Maia Sandu’s dog overturned protocol on Thursday.
The incident, Moldovan media reported, took place in the courtyard of the Moldovan presidential residence, where the two leaders were strolling. Van der Bellen tried to pet the dog, a rescue named Codrut, but was bitten instead.
Sandu apologised and explained that the dog had become frightened by large numbers of people nearby.
After the trip to Moldova, Van der Bellen posted on Instagram:
“Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a big dog lover and can understand his excitement,” he wrote, adding his meeting with Sandu and other top officials had been “very good”.