Minister’s awkward EU summit kiss causes controversy

An EU minister has sparked controversy after trying to kiss another diplomat during a photocall at a conference in Berlin.

Croatian foreign minister Gordan Grlić-Radman has been lashed after he was seen leaning forward to kiss his German counterpart Annalena Baerbock after shaking hands with her during the conference photocall.

Ma Baerbcok is seen turning her head to avoid the kiss before he makes contact with her cheek.

The Croatian diplomat has reportedly been criticised in some Croatian media reports, with women’s rights activist Rada Boric describing the incident as “highly inappropriate”.

However, Grlić-Radman moved to defend himself, and said to the reporters: “I don’t know what the problem was… We always greet each other warmly. It is a warm human approach to a colleague”.

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Ms Baerbock has so far not made comment on the awkward exchange which German media have nicknamed “Kuss-Attacke” or the “kiss attack”.

Mr Grlić-Radman denied he had intended to embarrass his German counterpart by being overly friendly.

He said: “Maybe it was an awkward moment. If someone saw something bad in it, then I apologise to whoever took it that way.”

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Meanwhile, Croatian feminist Rada Boric blasted the minister’s gesture as “highly inappropriate”, adding that “warm greetings” should happen only among those whose relationship allows kissing.

“It’s clear that such a relationship doesn’t exist here and that the (German) minister was left surprised with such closeness,” Boric told the Jutarnji List outlet.

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