Notorious Ukrainian envoy lashes out at Merkel
Angela Merkel’s attitude towards Russia is “borderline obsession” and looks “almost perverse,” Andrey Melnik, Kiev's outgoing ambassador to Berlin said. He criticized the former chancellor for saying that Russia has a role to play in European security.
Melnik, a Ukrainian diplomat with a record of making controversial statements about officials and policies in Germany, blasted Merkel in a Twitter post on Friday morning.
“On the day [Russian President Vladimir] Putin steals 15% of Ukraine, Ms. Merkel raves about ‘involving’ Russia in the European security architecture,” he said, using the loaded epithets to describe her stance.
Melnik was reacting to a speech that the former chancellor delivered on Thursday in the town of Goslar, which celebrates its 1100th anniversary this year.
In her address, Merkel called the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine in late February a “turning point” and “the greatest violation of the principles of international law since World War II.” But a long-term pan-European security architecture can only work if it “also includes Russia” she stated.
Merkel voiced the same sentiment on Tuesday at the Chancellor Helmut Kohl Foundation in Berlin. During that appearance, she urged planning for “how relations towards and with Russia could one day be redeveloped” after the conflict in Ukraine ends.
The accusation of a land-grab leveled at Putin by the Ukrainian diplomat referred to the referendums, in which people in two Donbass republics and Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions voted to join Russia. Kiev dismissed the ballots as a “sham” and pledged to fight against Russia until it is defeated on the battlefield.
During his tenure as ambassador, Melnik gained a reputation for verbally attacking German officials and the policies of Berlin that he didn’t like. In May, he called incumbent Chancellor Olaf Scholz an “offended liverwurst” for his reluctance at the time to travel to Kiev. Scholz abstained after the Ukrainian government refused to host German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, whom Kiev accused of appeasing Russia during his tenure as foreign minister.
The controversial diplomat was technically recalled in July, after causing outrage in Poland and Israel by attempting to whitewash the war crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists, who collaborated with Nazi Germany, against Poles and Jews.
Ukraine’s President Vladimir Zelensky appointed Melnik’s replacement last week, but the transition period at the embassy is still underway, according to German media.