Scandal-plagued envoy makes claim about Germany’s ‘failures’
Germany has failed in many of its policies in recent years due to its fear of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ukraine’s outgoing ambassador, Andrey Melnik, claimed on Wednesday.
Speaking to Die Welt, the scandal-ridden diplomat – who was fired after a string of contentious remarks, including one directed at German Chancellor Olaf Scholz – indicated that the Russian leader knows how to toy with the Germans.
“Putin knows the German soul and, unfortunately, can play well with it,” he said, adding that the Russian president relies on “intimidation” when engaging in dialogue with Berlin.
“This fear is his greatest weapon, and German policies have also failed in recent years and decades,” Melnik stated.
He went on to say that Russia is unlikely to use tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine as part of its military operation, due to the high costs this would entail.
Melnik also commented on his resignation, striking an unusually self-critical tone. “You have to answer for your mistakes. No matter how critical one is of the government, Germany is our most important ally in Europe,” he said, adding that Ukraine “has to win over the Germans” and expressing hope that his successor will do a better job than he did.
His remarks come after Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba blasted Germany on Tuesday for failing to give a “single rational argument” as to why it could not supply Kiev with battle tanks, accusing Berlin of offering “only abstract fears and excuses.”
Melnik was sacked by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in early July after a flurry of controversies. His headline-grabbing remarks included calling the German chancellor an “offended liverwurst” and defending Stepan Bandera, a controversial Ukrainian nationalist hero who collaborated with the Nazis during WWII.
Melnik insisted that Bandera was not involved in the mass murder of Jews and Poles during the war. After backlash from Poland and Israel, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry had to explain that the ambassador’s statements do not reflect Kiev’s official position.