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13 Jul, 2023 18:31

Ukrainian ambassador criticizes Zelensky

The president should not have been sarcastic when responding to NATO’s demand for gratitude, Kiev’s UK envoy told Sky News
Ukrainian ambassador criticizes Zelensky

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s reaction to a demand for gratitude from one of its Western backers was misplaced, Kiev’s ambassador to London, Vadim Pristayko, told Sky News on Thursday. Zelensky had responded sarcastically to a call by UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace for Kiev to show some gratitude for all the Western aid it receives.

“I do not believe that this sarcasm is healthy,” the diplomat said, referring to the fact that Zelensky had suggested supposedly waking up every morning and thanking Wallace for what he had done. Such public displays only demonstrate that Kiev and its Western backers are not as united as they would like to appear, the ambassador added.

“We do not have to show… Russians that there is… something between us. They have to know that we are working together,” Pristayko said, advocating a more discreet way of sorting out differences. “If anything happens, Ben [Wallace] can call me and tell me everything he wants,” he said.

The brief spat between Zelensky and the American and British officials came after the Ukrainian president attacked NATO on Monday for not providing Kiev a timeline for membership, and accused the US-led bloc of not showing Ukraine proper respect. According to the Washington Post, the US leadership was “furious” about Zelensky’s remarks.

Wallace then said that some gratitude on the part of Kiev was in order, adding that its Western backers “are not Amazon.” He also mentioned complaints from some American officials, who told him Ukraine sometimes treated the US as an online retailer.

Zelensky then said at a press conference that Ukraine had “always been grateful” and called on Wallace to “write to me how to be grateful,” and vowed to heed his advice in a response that Pristayko described as sarcastic.