Last week, a small diplomatic scuffle broke out between staunch representatives of Ukraine and Russia during a PABSEC meeting in Ankara, Turkey. The meeting in the organisation for cooperation in the Black Sea region was, albeit in a tense atmosphere, to agree on a new grain agreement.
The paws of the flag
Ukrainian delegate Oleksandr Marikovski posted a video on Facebook showing the incident.
In the post, Marikovski asks the Russian to keep his “paws” away from the flag and from his country:
The incident took place in the lobby when Valery Stavitskiy, the Russian delegate’s secretary, grabbed a Ukrainian flag used in a photo shoot. Marikovski took the flag back and slapped the Russian on the cheek, causing his glasses to fly off and hit the wall.
The video was authenticated by Ukraine’s UN Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya on CBS News. He asked if the Americans or any other nation would tolerate their flag being treated that way.
Russia’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Dmitrij Polyanskiy, also confirmed the video and said it was the day’s highlight of Ukrainian provocation during the meeting.
The Russian delegate was taken to hospital for a check-up after the incident.
Principled, patriotic and emotional
According to Jaanika Merilo, Marikovski, with whom she is on a first-name basis, is a truly principled, patriotic and emotional person.