Federal President Steinmeier apparently not wanted in Kiev. – Politics

Frank-Walter Steinmeier is unlikely to visit Ukraine for the time being, apparently the German Federal President is not welcome there. “I was willing to do that. But apparently – and I must admit – it was not wanted in Kiev,” Steinmeier said on Tuesday night during his visit to Poland. As first The newspaper Bild reported that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not want to receive Steinmeier in Kiev – because Steinmeier had previously maintained close ties with Russia.

Steinmeier traveled to Warsaw on Tuesday to visit his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda, where he commented on the process: “My friend, Polish President Andrzej Duda, has in the last few days suggested that we both travel with the Presidents of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. to Kiev, “Steinmeier said. Together, they wanted to send “a strong sign of Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine”. “I would have liked to have taken this opportunity,” Steinmeier said.

The cancellation apparently caused astonishment in the federal government. A spokesman for the government in Berlin said: “The Federal President takes a clear and unequivocal stance on the part of Ukraine.” He went on to say: “Germany was and is one of the most determined supporters of Ukraine internationally, and this is closely linked to the many years of work of the current Federal President.” According to SZ information, there was also a suspicion in Berlin that in the background there was anger over the federal government, which Kiev thought was too hesitant about sanctions and arms deliveries. This was stated by the SPD’s parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich Rheinische Post: “The Federal President’s trip to Kiev would have been a clear foreign policy sign of solidarity.”

In Warsaw, with the President of Poland, the atmosphere is definitely friendly

Even before the diplomatic insult on Tuesday, Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk had made it clear over the weekend that Ukraine was more likely to expect a visit from Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) than from Steinmeier. A trip to Kiev by the federal president would only be of a symbolic nature, he told the German press agency. Melnyk said on Tuesday night on the channels ProSieben and Sat.1 that it was important for Scholz to make the decision to supply heavy weapons to his government: “It would also be important for the head of government to come to Kiev if he had time. To speak. with my President and the Government on how to help Ukraine even more in the face of this war of annihilation against the Ukrainian nation. “

Steinmeier had Friday in an interview with mirror signaled that he was ready to travel to Kiev. In early April, the federal president admitted mistakes in dealing with Russia in a detailed self-criticism. It was wrong to stick to the construction and operation of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Germany had failed to “integrate Russia into a common security architecture”.

Since mid-March, when the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia, three heads of government in Europe, traveled to Kiev by train for the first time since the start of the war, travel by European politicians to Ukraine has increased significantly. On Friday, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell were in Ukraine, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also traveled.

The chairmen of the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Europe, Michael Roth (SPD), Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann (FDP) and Anton Hofreiter (Greens), arrived on Tuesday from Germany to Lviv in western Ukraine. They wanted to meet members of the Ukrainian parliament. All three politicians had recently called for faster arms deliveries. Federal President Steinmeier also spoke in Warsaw in favor of rapid deliveries of available weapons.

Steinmeier visited his Polish colleague Andrzej Duda in Warsaw on Tuesday. The talks between the two were primarily about joint support for Ukraine. Duda had asked for more financial help to take care of the refugees – above all from the EU, for which German intercession was needed, and again called for tougher sanctions against Russia. Poland has long since begun to diversify its energy supply. He hopes, Duda said, that Poland will be independent of gas from Russia as early as this fall.

The Polish government under Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki had repeatedly sharply attacked the German government and most recently French President Emmanuel Macron. Morawiecki holds the German government solely responsible for slowing down in the event of tougher sanctions against Russia. Morawiecki, on the other hand, defended Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He accused Macron of talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin for too long.

In contrast, the performances of Duda and Steinmeier in Warsaw seemed friendly. The Presidents emphasized their close ties and declared that they wanted to act together for the benefit of Europe. The presidents’ wives are also in close contact, and together they organized the departure of seriously ill children from Ukraine, who are now being treated in hospitals in Germany. Steinmeier expressed his “deep respect” for Duda and all Poles for the initial reception of some 2.7 million Ukrainian war refugees.

Leave a Comment