Politicians from all parties have condemned a verbal attack by Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk against Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD). “Olaf Scholz is not a sausage, he is the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany,” FDP Deputy Chairman Wolfgang Kubicki told the German Press Agency in Berlin, adding: “It has to be respected”.
Scholz justified his reluctance to travel to Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, by saying that Ukraine had canceled a trip planned by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in mid-April. It gets in the way of his journey, Scholz said.
[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]
Melnyk then said, “Playing an insulted liverwurst doesn’t sound very political.” This is the most brutal war of annihilation since the Nazi attack on Ukraine, “this is not a kindergarten”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy would always be happy to receive Scholz in kyiv.
On Tuesday, in place of Scholz, the leader of the opposition in the Bundestag, Friedrich Merz (CDU), traveled to Ukraine. There he surprisingly met Selenskyj.
The deputy leader of the Union faction, Johann Wadephul, criticized the reaction of the ambassador. “The tone is inappropriate,” the CDU politician told Editorial Network Germany (RND). “Even in a particular situation, diplomatic representatives should behave appropriately towards government officials.” Leftist foreign policy expert Gregor Gysi called Melnyk’s statement to the RND “out of the question”.
FDP politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann made a suggestion to solve the problem: “Perhaps, dear Mr. Melnyk, you just apologize to the President and then politely invite the Chancellor to come”, said she told the Funke News Group. Ukraine cannot first cancel the Federal President’s invitation and then expect Scholz to come to Kyiv.
Former Bundestag President Wolfgang Thierse made a similar statement. “If our federal president is treated in this way, a chancellor should not come to the country and pretend that nothing happened,” the SPD politician told MDR. Thierse called Melnyk’s statements to Scholz “unconventional”.
AfD faction leader Tino Chrupalla went even further, demanding consequences after Melnyk’s verbal attack. “Such provocations and insults from constitutional bodies should not be accepted idly. The federal government must summon Ambassador Melnyk immediately,” Chrupalla told dpa. If Melnyk proves unreasonable, the government must insist that he be recalled immediately. (dpa)