“We trusted him almost blindly”
Melnyk is tough on Merkel
04/13/2022, 8:06 p.m.
No one was as close to Russian President Putin as former Chancellor Merkel, says Andriy Melnyk. The Ukrainian ambassador wants the former head of government to make a statement on his political relations with Russia. He accuses her of making big mistakes.
Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk has leveled serious accusations against former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, accusing her of complicity in the Russian war against his country. “We trusted Angela Merkel almost blindly. There was enormous trust in the belief that she could assess and regulate things better,” Melnyk told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. This has since turned out to be a mistake. No one was “closer to Putin” than Merkel personally and Germany as a mediator between Russia and Ukraine in the Norman format, to which France also belonged.
“No one knew better than her how strained relations between Russia and Ukraine remained and that Putin does not want a deal but the destruction of my homeland,” Melnyk said of the former chancellor. Nevertheless, the decision in favor of the controversial Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline and against arms deliveries to Ukraine was taken in Berlin. The ambassador asked the former chancellor to comment on her policy towards Russia. “I think it would also be important for Germany for Mrs Merkel to speak out,” Melnyk said. “It’s not about pointing blame. It’s about figuring out how it all went wrong.”
The Ukrainian ambassador was once again unhappy with the policy of the new traffic light coalition. He accused the federal government of supporting his country too slowly in the defensive struggle against the war of Russian aggression. “Germany is not really leading the way in any of the important decisions for Ukraine. This applies to tougher sanctions as well as the delivery of heavy weapons,” Melnyk told the newspaper. Although he has “fundamental confidence” in Germany, “but again and again he has serious doubts.”
However, Melnyk denied that a planned trip to kyiv by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier fell through due to his longstanding role in German Russian politics. “There is no doubt that Mr. Steinmeier will be able to visit Ukraine in the future,” Melnyk said. “It is not a question of whether his previous distancing from the most serious errors of Russian politics was considered sufficient.” For now, however, the priority is for Chancellor Olaf Scholz to visit Ukraine, “because only he and the red light can take the necessary decisions regarding new weapons and new punitive measures against Moscow.”