End of the Ice Age! In a phone call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj (44) and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (66) on Thursday, the waves between Berlin and Kyiv have been smoothed: Federal government officials can finally travel to Kyiv and express their solidarity with Ukraine.
︎ The woman of the second highest state office in the Federal Republic will start on Sunday, President of the Bundestag Bärbel Bas (54, SPD). She will deliver a memorial speech on May 8 – the day Nazi Germany surrendered 77 years ago.
“It is true that the President wishes to visit Ukraine, at the invitation of her Ukrainian counterpart, to commemorate all the victims of the Second World War and to have political talks with him,” a spokesperson said.
Your trip has been in the works for some time, he says.
▶︎ Also Annalena Baerbock, Minister of Foreign Affairs (41) will go to kyiv. Chancellor Scholz announced on Thursday evening “that the Minister of Foreign Affairs will soon be in Ukraine”. There’s no specific date yet, but since the trip is supposed to be quick, it could be early next week.
It is still unclear when Scholz himself and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier (66) will visit Ukraine. There are no official travel dates for either.
Trigger of tensions: On April 12, Selenskyj Steinmeier landed from Ukraine. Background to the travel ban: kyiv resents Steinmeier for his pro-Russia policy. The Federal President actually wanted to go to kyiv with his Polish counterpart and the Presidents of the Baltic States. “I was ready for that. But obviously – and I have to admit – it was not wanted in Kyiv,” said a visibly affected Steinmeier in Warsaw.
Was the CDU boss really the mediator?
CDU chief Friedrich Merz (66) bragged on Twitter that he made the diplomatic breakthrough during his trip to Kyiv on Tuesday. “I am very grateful to President Selenskyj for accepting my invitation request from the Federal President,” Merz wrote on Twitter.
According to information from BILD, Steinmeier wanted to call Selenskyj before his failed trip to Ukraine. This interview request was not withdrawn even after the invitation was unloaded. The fact that after three weeks the radio silence movement got into the confused situation had nothing to do with Merz:
That was Scholz’s clear statement in ZDF’s interview on Monday evening. The Chancellor said Steinmeier’s refusal was “a remarkable event”. That’s why he can’t go to kyiv himself. Germany is doing a lot for Ukraine, both financially and militarily. Scholz: “So you can’t say: the president can’t come.”
No apology from Melnyk for ‘offended liverwurst’
Ukraine’s Ambassador to Germany Andriy Melnyk (46) then called Scholz “an offended liver sauce”.
This free-to-air announcement apparently caused the turning point. According to BILD’s information, presidential offices at the working level telephoned each other on Tuesday morning to prepare for Thursday’s presidential talks – hours before Merz would meet Selenskyj on Tuesday afternoon.
Melnyk rejected an apology for the liver sausage comparison to Scholz on Friday. “It’s not about apologizing, it’s about doing the right politics these days,” he says on Deutschlandfunk.