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30 Aug, 2022 11:24

German MP calls for expulsion of Ukrainian ambassador

The outgoing envoy should be declared persona non grata, the opposition lawmaker says
German MP calls for expulsion of Ukrainian ambassador

Kiev’s outgoing ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, who infamously called German Chancellor Olaf Scholz an “offended liverwurst,” should be banned from the country, a conservative German lawmaker has said. 

A diplomat representing Ukraine in Germany should acknowledge how much humanitarian, economic and military assistance Berlin provides to Kiev instead of constantly complaining about German policies and politicians, Jens Lehmann said on social media on Monday.

The MP is a member of the center-right CDU/CSU alliance, which is currently the biggest opposition party in the German parliament, representing a constituency in Saxony. 

The comments were sparked by Melnik’s latest round of German-bashing. Last week, the diplomat announced he had uninvited Michael Kretschmer, the minister president of Saxony and deputy leader of the CDU, to Ukraine.

Melnik’s proclamation Twitter followed remarks made by Kretschmer in an interview with German TV, calling for the Russia-Ukraine conflict to be frozen. Melnik accused him of siding with Moscow against Kiev.

“I invited you to Ukraine. This invitation has been canceled,” the ambassador wrote, adding: “You are UNWANTED. Period.”

Melnik has a long record of making statements critical of his host country and its officials. His targets have included Chancellor Scholz, who he called an “offended liverwurst” due to his delay in visiting Kiev. 

Scholz was slow to visit Ukraine compared to other European leaders, because Kiev would not extend an invitation to German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The head of state and former foreign minister played a role in promoting a peace deal between the Ukrainian government and rebel forces in eastern Ukraine, which Kiev ultimately refused to implement. Russia cited this among the justifications for attacking Ukraine in late February.

In early July, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky relieved Melnik from his post, which he took on in 2015. He was initially expected to remain in Germany as acting ambassador for several weeks before going back to Kiev, potentially to become deputy foreign minister.

He is currently predicted to remain in office until mid-October. Lehmann said that by declaring Melnik persona non grata, Berlin could expedite his departure.