The German Chancellor said the diplomatic snub “stands in the way” of him visiting the Ukrainian capital. While on a trip to Warsaw in mid April Frank-Walter Steinmeier was told that he would not be welcome in Ukraine.
The reason given was that President Volodymyr Zelensky’s government accused him of having close links to the Kremlin for a considerable period of time.
In an interview with German broadcaster ZDF on Monday, Mr Scholz argued that it wasn’t an acceptable way of treating the President of “a country that provides so much military assistance, so much financial assistance, that is needed when it comes to the security guarantees that are important for Ukraine in the future”.
However, Chancellor Scholz went on to argue that despite the snub, Berlin would continue to support Kyiv in any way that it can.
He said: “That the President of the Federal Republic of Germany … has been disinvited, stands in the way of the matter.
“The help we have provided … has contributed to the fact that the Ukrainian army … can now hold out for so long against an overwhelming opponent … and we will continue to support them.”
Mr Scholz sidestepped a question about why he had gone from warning about the danger of nuclear war to agreeing to send heavy weapons to Ukraine.
The SDP Chancellor said that people were “fixated” on terms like “heavy weapons,” when in reality Germany has been sending “very dangerous weapons” from the start of the Russian invasion in February.
The Chancellor didn’t rule out sitting down with Russian President Vladimir Putin if he gets invited to the G20 summit in Indonesia later this year.
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“Russia must not win and Ukraine must not lose.”
Last month in Warsaw President Steinmeier was quoted as saying that he planned to “undertake a trip to Kyiv to send a strong signal of common European solidarity with Ukraine. I was ready to do this, but apparently — and I have to take note of this — this was not wanted in Kyiv”.
The President’s original plan had been to meet with President Zelensky along with the Presidents of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
However the German tabloid Bild quoted a Ukrainian diplomat as saying “all of us here know Steinmeier’s close ties to Russia” and that the German president is “not welcome in Kyiv at the moment.”
Mr Steinmeier had been forced to admit the week before that he had been “mistaken” in his soft stance towards Vladimir Putin.
This was particularly the case in relation to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline which was cancelled by Scholz after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.