The Austrian police gave small gifts after protecting the Russian ambassador, told him to refuse them in the future

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BERLIN (AP) – Austrian police provided security around the Russian embassy on the country’s national security day. presidential election they were given small gifts as they left, Vienna police said Tuesday. Police were told to refuse such gifts in the future.

Receiving gifts from Russians – paper bags containing valuables such as calendars and boxes of chocolates – did not constitute an offense under the service law for Austrian workers, the Vienna police department said in an email in response to questions about local media. to report on this matter.

But it “leaves an unnecessary impression that does no justice to the expertise of the police on the scene,” the department added. This, it said, was brought to the notice of the officers and they were instructed “to politely but firmly decline such honors, however cheap, in the future.”

Russians living abroad lined up to vote for Russian ambassadors and ambassadors in several European cities on March 17, the final day of a highly-contested presidential election that gave Vladimir Putin his name. a period of six years.

A few days earlier, the Austrian government had announced that it was to command two generals from the Russian embassy in Vienna to leave the country, and an official said the deportation was related to espionage activities.

Vienna police were sent to protect the embassy on March 17. The police department said the police met with embassy staff and sometimes entered the building.

The Austrian Press Agency reported that, after the last voters left the embassy that night, at least six police officers and other departments followed, at least three of them carrying gift bags bearing the Russian logo. According to reports, a police officer said that the police were going in and out of the building to use the toilets.

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