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Newsline: Russian diplomat apologises after road rage incident in Australia

A Russian diplomat who has been accused of threatening a Canberra woman outside a Coles supermarket after crashing into her car will avoid having to pay the bill because he has diplomatic immunity. Erika Bacon called the police on October 20 after an alleged altercation with the Russian embassy’s secretary of consular services Eduard Shakirov, the Canberra Times reports. Ms Bacon said Russian diplomat Sergei Letiagin crashed into the side of her car causing significant damage in the Manuka carpark. After five minutes Mr Shakirov arrived from the embassy and allegedly attempted to bully Ms Bacon into accepting blame for the accident. The shaken driver told the Canberra Times that Mr Shakirov become so aggressive she called the police out of concern for her safety. Federal Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann penned a letter to the Russian Ambassador in Australia, Grigory Logvinov, this week complaining about the alleged incident. “Diplomatic immunity does not give members of your embassy licence to intimidate and threaten members of my community,” she wrote. Mr Shakirov eventually responded to Ms Bacon’s complaints in a letter, the Daily Mail reports. “I’m very surprised and disappointed that routine car accident which took place in car parking in Manuka on 20 October 2016 with very minor damages has so negative development. Please accept my apologies for my behaviour if you believe it was inappropriate.” he wrote in the letter.



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