NV journalist reports preclusion and rude remarks by "Pryamiy" host Zalmayev
According to her, the incident happened at the Ukrainian embassy in Davos, Switzerland, while she was interviewing the Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs after a panel in the Ukrainian House. Rop notes that she had arranged the interview in advance with the Minister's communications team and only had five minutes to ask her questions after a World Economic Forum panel.
"And then, in the middle of the conversation, a man bursts in, puts down his phone, starts recording our interview and waving his hands at me. I ignore it and continue with my questions. Then, at some point, the man waving his hands and preventing me from talking starts telling me: 'Don't be greedy!' Then: 'Girl, please, let me ask a question,'" Rop wrote.
The journalist says that she explained to Zalmayev that the interview had been pre-arranged and continued her conversation with the Minister. "The man kept trying to intrude in the conversation, and at some point, when I prevented him from doing so, he said: 'Bitch.' Both me and the Minister were puzzled by this behaviour. I can't imagine how puzzled the Minister would have been if he could interpret the Pryamiy host's remarks," added the correspondent.
Following this incident, Rop complained about Zalmayev's inappropriate behavior to the organizers of Deciding Your Tomorrow (one of the projects organized annually during the World Economic Forum by the Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk's foundation. – Ed.). He denied caling her a "bitch".
"And when I said that it was recorded on audio, he started saying that he wasn't addressing me. I told him that I would make it public, to which Zalmayev replied something along the lines of: maybe that will bring you at least some fame. I ended this useless conversation, and after a few minutes Zalmayev started chasing after me, saying, 'Let's make peace' and 'What, are you going to be mad at me forever now?'" noted the NV correspondent.
In her comment to the IMI, Nataliya Rop clarified that Zalmayev later apologized in the comments under her Facebook post.
"I only now saw this post and haven't had a chance to react before accusations from colleagues started pouring in. i tried to apologize to you in person but you refused to speak with me. I understand, as that is your choice and I respect it. Let me simply quickly say here that, though i do not agree with all the details of the situation, i deeply regret that it happened and apologize to you for it. And i hope that it doesn't distract us from working on behalf of Ukraine at such a sensitive moment for our country, here in Davos," wrote Zalmayev.
"He noted that he did not agree with all the details of the situation I described. I don't understand what he means by that. And he also said that he regrets what happened and apologizes. A little later, he approached me personally. He said he was sorry and started asking what he could do to fix the situation," the correspondent said.
According to her, she replied to him as follows: “First of all, don't ever do that to anyone again; secondly, our conversation is over."
"He started asking if I was refusing his apology, and I had to repeat at least twice to this person that our conversation was over. That's where we parted ways," the media woman stressed.
She considers Zalmayev's actions to be a preclusion to journalistic work, as his remarks and interventions at the very least prevented her from focusing on the questions and the Minister's replies and having a proper conversation.
"I told this person during the interview that we were having a pre-arranged conversation with the Minister, but he continued to insert his comments. In addition to obstructing my work, this is also plain unprofessionalism and lack of manners," the journalist added.
Since yesterday, January 17, the IMI has asked Peter Zalmayev for a comment on social media, but he did not reply despite having read the message and did not pick up the phone.
The IMI is ready to give him the floor to share his perspective on the conflict.
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