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'I Submit To No One': Austrian Minister Defends Wedding Curtsy To Putin

Putin Waltzes At Austrian Foreign Minister’s Wedding
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Austria's foreign minister has defended her curtsy to Russian President Vladimir Putin at her wedding last week, calling it a customary dance move and not a sign of submission.

Karin Kneissl made the comments in an interview with Austrian radio ORF broadcast on August 25, a week after her wedding at which Putin made a high-profile and controversial appearance.

Video footage showed Kneissl dancing with Putin at the wedding celebration and delivering a deep curtsy at the end.

"This was portrayed in commentaries as an act of submission, of prostration. And anyone who knows me knows that I submit to no one," Kneissl said in the ORF interview, adding that the curtsy came after Putin had bowed to her.

Kneissl, an independent, was picked for the foreign minister job by the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), a coalition partner in Austria's government.

The FPOe, which has advocated lifting European Union sanctions against Moscow, has ties with Russia's ruling United Russia party.

The European Union, the United States, and other countries imposed sanctions against Russia over its 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine who are fighting government forces.

Austria was one of the few EU member states not to expel Russian diplomats following the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain in March.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and dpa