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Undiplomat: Ukrainian envoy makes German leaders uncomfortable about relations with Russia

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
DP Veteran
Apr 18, 2013
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Political Leaning
Undiplomat: Ukrainian envoy makes German leaders uncomfortable about relations with Russia


Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk appears to have a split personality. On German TV talk shows, he is composed and soft-spoken as he speaks impeccable German. Patiently, he explains why Ukraine deserves more weapons and why Germany should exert more pressure on Moscow to end its invasion. On Twitter, however, he is far less diplomatic, reacting with wrath anytime he detects German hypocrisy toward Russia, such as when he received an invite to a Ukraine solidarity concert for last Sunday at Bellevue Palace, the residence of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. “There are only Russian soloists performing, no Ukrainians,” he tweeted in capital letters. “In the midst of a war against civilians. This is an affront. Sorry, I will stay away!!” The office of the president responded by expressing regrets that the ambassador would not attend. That, however, did not soothe Melnyk, 46. “My dear God," he replied, "why is it so hard for the German president to realize that as long as Russian bombs are falling on Ukrainian cities and thousands of civilians are being murdered day and night, we Ukrainians don't have any stomach for 'great Russian culture.'" The exchange, Melnyk reflects, epitomizes the duality of attitudes that some leading German officials continue to maintain toward Moscow as its troops and missiles pummel Ukraine more than a month after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his unprovoked war.

Melnyk suggests that there is more than missing tact and sensitivity when it comes to leaders such as Steinmeier. There remains, he suspects, a thinly disguised affection for Russia that has not, or cannot, be overcome. "The president of Germany is not ready to admit any of his huge personal responsibility for the failure of Berlin’s Russia policy mistake," he said in an interview. “Even in times of such a war he wants to build new bridges with Russia. It clearly sends a clandestine signal to Moscow: Once the war is over we are still here. We keep the flag flying. We will restore the German-Russian historic ties.” Steinmeier, twice a German foreign minister and a longtime confidant of former chancellor and Nord Stream 2 pipeline executive Gerhard Schröder, has for years been seen as one of the architects of Germany’s cozy relations with Russia. Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, a high-profile politician of the liberal party FDP that is part of the ruling coalition, summed up Germany’s past policies in bitter words. Putin’s war was “a very harsh awakening for Europe and especially for us,” she said in an interview with the German news agency dpa. “I think appeasement, which is a policy of constant tolerance of destructive power politics, has completely failed.” The Ukraine ambassador, probably one of the most disliked men in Berlin diplomatic circles because of his blunt style, wants Germans to look in the mirror.

I agree with Ukraine Ambassador Melnyk, German-Russian Ostpolitik has been torn asunder since the invasion. Hopefully, Berlin will wake up to the myriad dangers that the Kremlin presents to Europe.
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