Skip to content Skip to footer

Austrian police reprimanded over Russian gifts – AP

Officers guarding the Russian Embassy during presidential election were reportedly given calendars and chocolates

Vienna police officers who provided security around the Russian Embassy during the country’s presidential election and were given small presents, have been told to reject such gifts in the future, Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing the city’s police department.

The presidential election in Russia was held between March 15 and 17. Russians living abroad had the chance to cast their votes at Russian embassies and consulates in several European cities on March 17.

According to AP, Vienna police officers who were posted to protect the embassy on that day reportedly were in contact with embassy employees and occasionally entered the building. Local media cited one officer as saying the police went in and out of the premises to use the toilets.

After the voting concluded, several officers were reportedly seen leaving with gift bags bearing the Russian emblem. The paper bags contained low-value items such as calendars and boxes of chocolates, the AP wrote.

The Vienna police department clarified to AP in an email that receiving the gifts from the Russians did not constitute misconduct under the service law for Austrian civil servants.


READ MORE: Putin addresses nation after election

However, it “leaves an unwanted impression that does not do justice to the professional approach of the officers at the scene,” the department added. This, it said, was pointed out to officers and they were instructed to “reject in a friendly but firm way such courtesies, even if only of a low value, in the future.”

According to media reports, small souvenirs featuring the election campaign such as calendars and keychains were also given out at Russian polling stations, particularly to those casting their vote for the first time.

Officers guarding the Russian Embassy during presidential election were reportedly given calendars and chocolates

Vienna police officers who provided security around the Russian Embassy during the country’s presidential election and were given small presents, have been told to reject such gifts in the future, Associated Press reported on Tuesday, citing the city’s police department.

The presidential election in Russia was held between March 15 and 17. Russians living abroad had the chance to cast their votes at Russian embassies and consulates in several European cities on March 17.

According to AP, Vienna police officers who were posted to protect the embassy on that day reportedly were in contact with embassy employees and occasionally entered the building. Local media cited one officer as saying the police went in and out of the premises to use the toilets.

After the voting concluded, several officers were reportedly seen leaving with gift bags bearing the Russian emblem. The paper bags contained low-value items such as calendars and boxes of chocolates, the AP wrote.

The Vienna police department clarified to AP in an email that receiving the gifts from the Russians did not constitute misconduct under the service law for Austrian civil servants.


READ MORE: Putin addresses nation after election

However, it “leaves an unwanted impression that does not do justice to the professional approach of the officers at the scene,” the department added. This, it said, was pointed out to officers and they were instructed to “reject in a friendly but firm way such courtesies, even if only of a low value, in the future.”

According to media reports, small souvenirs featuring the election campaign such as calendars and keychains were also given out at Russian polling stations, particularly to those casting their vote for the first time.

 

Leave a comment

0.0/5