Croatia’s foreign minister, Gordan Grlić-Radman, has been caught in a controversy after he tried to kiss a German woman colleague on the cheek at a European Union summit in Berlin, Germany.
In the video of the moment, Grlić-Radman is seen shaking hands with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and attempting to kissing her as she walks over and takes center stage for the EU minister group photo on Thursday Nov. 2.
Baerbock appears to present her cheek but moves it swiftly the other way.
The incident drew criticism among German and Croatian newspapers, which called it sexual harassment.
“We ministers always greet each other cordially. If someone saw something bad in that, then apologies to whoever took it that way,” Grlić-Radman told a Croatian newspaper.
“Maybe it was an awkward moment,” he added.
“Kissing women violently is also called violence, isn’t it?” former Croatian prime minister Jadranka Kosor, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, the day after.
Meanwhile Croatian women’s rights activist, Rada Borić, criticized Grlić-Radman’s actions, calling it a “completely inappropriate gesture”.
Baerbock has not yet commented on the incident.