Although the non-affiliated MP Peter Marček claimed before his recent visit to Crimea that it was a private initiative, it resembled an official “delegation”, the Hospodárske Noviny daily wrote on August 8.
It resulted in the establishment of the European-Crimean Chamber of Commerce, a meeting with head of the Night Wolves motorcycle club Alexander Zaldostanov, and negotiations with Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksionov.
MP boost Slovak-Crimean relations
Despite the fact that the European Union imposed economic sanctions against the peninsula in 2014 after it was annexed by Russia from Ukraine, Marček signed an agreement concerning the establishment of the chamber, which will symbolically be registered in the Bratislava-based hotel Krym (meaning Crimea in Slovak).
Marček complained that the sanctions are also ignored by some other countries or their companies – naming Italy, France and Germany – and pointed out that it is small countries like Slovakia that suffer most.
As he explained for the daily, the chamber is expected to strengthen the relations between entrepreneurs from Crimea and Slovakia.
Analysts slam the visit
Observers addressed by Hospodárske Noviny were rather critical of the visit, but it seems that there will be no serious consequences for Marček. Extremism expert Daniel Milo sees the trip as not very proper, saying that the “Night Wolves are on the blacklist exactly for their involvement in the occupation of Crimea and the questionable referendum”.
Political analyst Radoslav Štefančík points out that just like Slovakia has right-wing extremists, Marček is a left-wing extremist, also apparent from his liking Vladimir Putin's Russia, which by no means can be considered democratic.
Despite the trip being called a “Slovak delegation” by Russian media, it will have no further consequences for Marček or for ex-head of SIS intelligence service, Igor Cibula, who accompanied him. In one photo, Cibula is seen labelled “advisor of Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini”. The Government Office denied this notion but did nothing more in this matter.
It seems that apart from a possible ban on entering Ukrainian territory, the trip will have no serious impacts on them, analyst of the Association for International Issues, Michal Lebduška, told Hospodárske Noviny.
8. Aug 2018 at 13:38 | Compiled by Spectator staff