I saw this piece in PolitNavigator, reporter is Olga Kozachenko. The lede: A delegation of parliamentarians and business leaders from Slovakia is planning an official visit to Crimea. This fact angered the Ukrainian Ambassador to Slovakia who thereupon blew a gasket. Emitting impotent threats, this oaf was duly rebuffed and reprimanded, not once but thrice, by the thricely-more civilized Slovaks.
As one can see from the map, Slovakia borders on the Ukraine, hence they are neighbors. As my mom says, you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your neighbors.
The nation of Slovakia has its capital in the beautiful medieval city of Bratislava, located on the scenic Danube River. This small but proud country is populated mainly by speakers of a West Slavic dialect language, Slovak, which is very similar to Czech. Unlike its northern neighbor, Poland, Slovakia has not been a bastion of Russia-hating sentiment. A fact which angers the current Ukrainian government, whose composition appears to be mostly ideological zealots. These fascists (literally) expect everybody to think like them; and if not, well, they will just fly into a tantrum and start emitting threats!
And so it came to pass: The Ukrainian Ambassador to Bratislava, Yury Mushka, a man whose name in Slavic tongues means “Little Fly” and who is so insignificant that he doesn’t even have his own wiki page; but anyhow — while buzzing around, this annoying fly learned that the Slovak deputies were preparing a junket to Crimea. And then did what all Ukrainian diplomats do: Threatened them. Told them that they were not to go to Crimea, and if they did, then he would hold his breath until he turned blue they would not be allowed into the Ukraine. Ever again.
Andrej Danko, Speaker of the Slovak Parliament, responded thusly to the Ukrainian threats: “The Ukrainian ambassador has violated diplomatic protocol. If he has some kind of beef, then he can present his case to the Foreign Ministry of our country. The ambassador does not have the right to threaten Slovak parliamentarians with the laws of his own country. And this is not the first time that we have been upset by the behavior of Mr. Mushka, who frequently does not observe the diplomatic norms of conduct.” Ouch! Danko added that the planned junket is not illegal in the slightest bit, and even salted his utterance with the dreaded word Kosovo:
“If Slovak deputies could travel to Kosovo, whose independence has not been recognized by Bratislava, then I don’t understand why suddenly they are meant to refrain from travelling to the Crimea. I am against such manifestations of Russophobia. Besides which, one needs to understand that it is the job of politicians to go to places with a disputed status. That is to say, they must have the opportunity to see with their own eyes and evaluate the situation in the region, and then present this information back to the citizens of their own country.”
The Navigator piece goes on to say that the delegation to Crimea will consist of five parliamentarians from different political parties, and also around 10 big business tycoons. The delegation will also be accompanied by a bevy of journalists and socially influential people. (Everybody: Remember to pack your beach towels!)
The next series of piquant quotes emitting from the lips of Peter Marček, Slovak politician who will be heading the delegation. Expressing even more disdain for Little Fly, Marček ejaculated testily: “Our goal is to acquaint ourselves with the situation in the region, and to smooth relations with Crimea. There is nothing illegal about any of this. The Ukrainian Ambassador, of course, has the right to express his opinion. Nonetheless, one would prefer to hear (rational) arguments from him, and not just threats. Besides, we know (for a fact) that his declarations express the opinions of the current government in Kiev, but not necessarily the opinions of the Ukrainian people.” Double ouch!
Marček again, tripling down: “It is clear that Ukraine is acting in the interests of Washington and Brussels, who want to see as many quarrels as possible erupting between Russia and her traditional partners. But the Slovaks, the Russians, Ukrainians, and other Slavic peoples should be friends, and not fight among themselves.”
Meanwhile, Andrei Nazarov, Chairperson of the Russian Business Council [with implication that he has something to do with this trip) has mentioned that the Slovak delegation will have the opportunity to visit Crimean industrial enterprises, meet with ministers and entrepreneurs of the region and, just in general, acquaint themselves with life as it is lived on the peninsula. The horror! The horror!