Here’s the thing, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Mariia Zakharova, decided to criticize Zelensky’s statement on Russia’s probable return to the G8 and even promised to “every now and then consult him for the old times’ sake”. Why it would be better to stay silent – read in reactions from Opinion.
It all began with a post of the president of Ukraine in which he emphasized that after the suspension of Russia’s participation in the G8, nothing has changed – “Ukrainian Crimea is still occupied, Ukrainian Donbas is still suffering from the war.” Also, Volodymyr Zelensky added that the release of territories and Ukrainians illegally held by the Kremlin “will be a real serious signal to the world that Russia is ready to reclaim its place in the high diplomatic agenda.”
And here out of the blue (actually we know out of where), the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mariia Zakharova appears and turns to Zelensky, “Dear Mr President you have been slipped a jumble of words”. And then she begins to tell the President of Ukraine what diplomacy is, how it is to be on the agenda, something there about “high diplomacy” and signals that are expected not from Russia but from Zelensky himself. The cherry on the cake – Zakharova promises to consult the president of Ukraine “for the old times’ sake”. Here are some questions. For example, did Ms Zakharova mistake the presidents who asked her opinion, and could she for the old times’ sake… Oh dear me!
However, it is obvious that many had the same reaction. For example, the first deputy speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of the eighth convocation, Iryna Gerashchenko, put it straightforwardly: let the Foreign Ministry of Russia give advice to Putin, not to the president of Ukraine. The people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian opposition can teach Zelensky, and not Masha from Uralmash (it’s my favourite moment).
MP of the eighth convocation Volodymyr Ariev advised Zakharova to learn terminology instead of Zelensky. Like, we can deal with our diplomats on our own, without intrusive neighbours. Well, good luck, of course. If you get me right.
Instead, scholar, translator and public activist Oleksiy Panych noted that the Russian Foreign Ministry deservedly “flogged” Zelensky, because there are errors in the statement indeed, moreover – they are very gross.
Political scientist Viktor Taran explained: it doesn’t matter whether you support Zelensky or not, in this case, a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, insulting the Ukrainian president, spat in the face of our country. Taran also stressed that only Ukrainians have the right to evaluate, praise or mock their president, and at the same time urged representatives of the President’s Office to explain to Volodymyr Zelensky some basic things.
Public activist Serhii Sternenko criticized those who quote Zakharova, asserting that some Ukrainians hate Ukrainian president more than Putin. And this despite the occupied territories, more than 13 thousand killed Ukrainians, thousands of wounded and our citizens in captivity.
The deputy minister for temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons of Ukraine George Tuka, for his part, sees Zakharova’s statement as another lesson for Volodymyr Zelensky: it’s time to finally understand who the president of Ukraine is dealing with.
Political scientist Alex Golobuckij believes that Putin has deliberately lowered the level of dialogue with the president of Ukraine to the level of Zakharova, and has indicated that he doesn’t intend to negotiate with Zelensky. Accordingly, the expectation of equal treatment and “civilized dialogue” can be finally discarded.
Instead, Golobuckij advised Volodymyr Zelensky to learn English as soon as possible, to make daily calls to everyone involved in global politics, and to remind everyone every time that Russia was kicked out of international structures, for what it was sanctioned, and what was the root cause of the claims against Putin.
In his letter, Zelensky called Crimea not annexed, as we used to say, but occupied, which also caused a number of criticisms and remarks. Oleksii Makeiev, political director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explains that “temporary occupation” should be considered as the main term for Crimea, and “annexation attempt” should be considered as an additional term.
As the expert explained, the commonly used terms “annexed Crimea” or “annexation of the Crimea” should be avoided, since annexation as an internationally illegal act has other legal consequences and is associated with a change in the sovereignty (legal status) of the respective territory.
According to numerous requests to “somehow react” to the message of the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Deputy Minister of Information Policy Dmytro Zolotukhin assured: it would be good if Maksym Buzhansky responded to the opuses of Zakharova from the Ukrainian side. For those who are outside the joke, let me remind you: this is a deputy from the Servant of the People, who called the reporter a “dumb sheep”. Ugh.
And for last, wonderful and concluding piece from blogger Artem Malder. Good luck you, Ms Zakharova!
Reactions were collected by Stepan the Goat. Sorry for Zakharova presence in the text.