Ukraine calls Germany’s policy a ‘disgrace’
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, on Sunday blasted the lack of heavy arms supply from Berlin to prop up Kiev in its fight against Moscow, accusing German authorities of refusing to supply even “old” hardware to the country.
“[The] German government cynically refuses to supply us even with old Leopard-1 tanks and Marder IFVs,” Melnik stated in a social media post, branding such behavior a “disgrace that would go down in history.”
The remarks came a day after the chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, Ruslan Stefanchuk, visited Germany, apparently to rally support for deliveries of heavy arms. Speaking ahead of a meeting with German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Friday, Stefanchuk said that the speedy “supply of the most modern equipment to Ukraine” would help to bring “common victory” over Russia closer.
“I do not rule out receiving submarines from Germany, because we are ready to become the eastern defense frontier for the whole of Europe,” Stefanchuk stated. Later in the day, he reiterated Kiev’s expectations that Germany would provide it with both Marder armored vehicles and Leopard tanks, which Dmitry Kuleba, Ukraine’s top diplomat, described last month as Kiev’s “dream.”
Melnik has repeatedly attacked German leadership over the purported lack of support from Berlin for Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia. He also launched a bitter personal attack on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz over his refusal to visit Kiev to show solidarity with Ukraine.
“To play an offended liverwurst doesn’t sound very statesmanlike,” Melnik said as Scholz refused to visit Kiev, citing Ukraine’s own decision to snub German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in mid-April. While Steinmeier was set to visit Ukraine’s capital alongside other top European politicians, the Ukrainian authorities said he was “not wanted” there, accusing him of fostering overly good relations with Moscow.
Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.
The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.