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28 Jan, 2023 20:41

Controversial Ukrainian diplomat has ‘another creative idea’ for Germany

Fresh from demanding tanks, jets, and missiles from Berlin, Andrey Melnik now wants the Bundeswehr’s submarines
Controversial Ukrainian diplomat has ‘another creative idea’ for Germany

Ukraine’s former ambassador to Germany, Andrey Melnik, has suggested that Berlin should hand over one of its submarines for use against Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. Throughout the conflict in Ukraine, Melnik belittled and insulted his then-hosts until they agreed to donate increasingly heavier weapons to his country.

“I know I’m gonna get a new s**t storm, but I have another creative idea,” Melnik, who became deputy foreign minister last November, tweeted on Saturday. Explaining that the ThyssenKrupp-manufactured HDW Class 212A is considered “one of the world’s best submarines,” the German military (Bundeswehr) should donate one of its six 212As to Ukraine, where it would “kick the Russian fleet out of the Black Sea.”

In a series of responses to comments, Melnik called on his supporters to “champion this idea all together and push Germany and other allies” into handing over the sub.

If Germany would agree to such a deal, transporting the sub to the Black Sea would be complicated by Türkiye’s closure of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits to military vessels, meaning only nations bordering the sea – such as Russia and Ukraine – can launch warships and submarines there.

Melnik explained in a comment that the submarine could be transported over land “no problemo,” a tall order for a 56-meter (184-foot) vessel displacing 1,500 tons. Ukrainian sailors would also have to be trained to operate it. The vessel would then have to face the seven submarines and numerous anti-submarine ships and helicopters in Russia’s Crimea-based Black Sea Fleet.

Melnik is no stranger to insulting the Germans until they give Ukraine what it wants, calling the country’s hesitancy to provide tanks “unf**kingbelievable,” and German politicians opposed to the transfer of heavy armor “Russian assets.” When Berlin eventually authorized the donation of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine earlier this week, he posted a celebratory tweet, before issuing fresh demands for fighter jets and long-range missiles. 

Melnik served as Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany from 2014 until last July, when he was recalled to Kiev after he publicly professed his admiration for Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian Nazi collaborator considered a hero by Ukrainian nationalists. 

Russia has repeatedly warned that the continued supply of arms to Ukraine will prolong the conflict and make Western countries de-facto participants. The Kremlin has also stated that heavy weapons such as the Leopard tanks will not bring victory to Ukraine, and “will burn” like every piece of equipment donated beforehand.