BERLIN — Ukrainian leaders have delivered a blunt message to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier: You’re not welcome right here.
Steinmeier, seen as an emblem of Germany’s gentle line on Moscow earlier than the invasion of Ukraine, stated Tuesday he had meant to satisfy Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv together with the presidents of Poland and the three Baltic states.
The plan was to “undertake a trip to Kyiv to send a strong signal of common European solidarity with Ukraine. I was ready to do this, but apparently — and I have to take note of this — this was not wanted in Kyiv,” Steinmeier stated on a go to to Warsaw.
German tabloid Bild first reported the Ukrainian snub. It quoted a Ukrainian diplomat as saying that “all of us here know Steinmeier’s close ties to Russia” and that the German president is “not welcome in Kyiv at the moment.”
The Ukrainian transfer quantities to a humiliation for the German head of state, who beforehand served as international minister.
Last week, Steinmeier admitted for the primary time publicly that he had been “mistaken” concerning his gentle stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin, notably within the context of his help for the controversial gasoline pipeline mission Nord Stream 2, which many senior German politicians continued to defend whilst Moscow massed troops on Ukraine’s borders.
Although Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who additionally supported Nord Stream 2, canceled the mission in February and introduced an entire overhaul of German international coverage, relations between Berlin and Kyiv have been strained, with Zelenskyy calling on German lawmakers final month to begin placing precept over the economic system by fully isolating Putin.