Fresh controversy as foreign minister Karin Kneissl offers warm welcome to Russian leader

There was a Russian Cossack choir, a horse-drawn carriage and a venue specialising in a Viennese fried chicken. But one thing about the wedding of the Austrian foreign minister, Karin Kneissl, stood out: among the guests was the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

The exact details of Putin’s controversial “private” visit weren’t confirmed until the last minute, when his private plane touched down at the tiny Graz regional airport early yesterday afternoon. The airport was briefly closed to passengers and sealed off by a large police presence supported by Austria’s elite Cobra taskforce.

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