Europe, Russia-Ukraine War

Ukrainian envoy slams German chancellor for refusing to visit Kyiv

‘Playing offended sorehead does not sound very statesmanlike,’ envoy tells Scholz

Oliver Towfigh Nia   | 03.05.2022
Ukrainian envoy slams German chancellor for refusing to visit Kyiv

BERLIN

The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin on Tuesday criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's refusal to visit Kyiv.

"Playing an offended sorehead doesn't sound very statesmanlike," Andriy Melnyk told the German Press Agency (dpa).

"This is about the most brutal war of annihilation since the Nazi attack on Ukraine, it's not a kindergarten," Melnyk added.

Scholz said on Monday he did not want to travel to Ukraine for the time being because the Ukrainian side has uninvited German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

It was "a very remarkable process" to uninvite the federal president, who had just been re-elected with a large majority, Scholz told the ZDF television network on Monday.

With a view to his own trip to Ukraine, Scholz stressed “that stands in the way of things.”

When asked how this could be resolved, the chancellor said: "First of all, for us as democrats, it must be part of the fact that we have no doubts about this matter: You can't do that."

"It cannot work that a country that provides so much military aid, provides so much financial aid that is needed when it comes to the security guarantees that are important for Ukraine's time in the future are that you then say: ‘But the president must not come.’”

Steinmeier's planned visit fell through in mid-April because the Ukrainian side uninvited him. He wanted to go to Kyiv with the heads of state of Poland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, who eventually left without him.

The German president has been criticized by Kyiv for his previous Russian policy as foreign minister in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Scholz and his cabinet are meeting later in the day for a two-day retreat to talk about the Ukraine war and its aftermath.

Germany is hosting nearly 400,000 Ukrainian refugees since the start of the Russian war in Ukraine on February 24.

It has also provided billions of euros in military and financial aid to Ukraine.

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