‘Sulky liver sausage!’ Ukraine ambassador scolds German leader for not visiting Kyiv

Ukraine’s outspoken ambassador to Berlin has taken a swipe at Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz for not yet visiting Kyiv in a show of support as other European leaders have done.

Ukraine accused the German leader of acting like a “sulky liver sausage” after Mr Scholz indicated on Monday he would not go to Kyiv because German president Frank-Walter Steinmeiner was snubbed by the Ukrainians from visiting last month after President Volodymyr Zelensky accused him of having close ties to the Kremlin.

“You can’t do that,” Mr Scholz told ZDF, a German public broadcaster, last night. “It can’t work that when a country has provided so much military aid, so much financial aid — which is needed — when it’s a question of the security guarantees that will be important to Ukraine in the future — you then say: But the president can’t come.”

But Andriy Melnyk, Ukraine’s envoy to Berlin hit back, saying: “Acting like a sulky liver sausage doesn’t sound very statesmanlike,” adding, “This is about the most brutal war of extermination since the Nazi attack on Ukraine – it’s no kindergarten.”

Mr Melnyk has long ruffled feathers in Germany, repeatedly criticising the chancellor’s centre-left Social Democrats for years of close ties to Russia.

Tensions between Ukraine and Germany have increased during Russia’s invasion as Kyiv repeatedly singled out Olaf Scholz for not going far enough on sanctions against the Kremlin or military support for Ukraine’s troops.

Germany however, in a major policy switch last week, announced it would approve the delivery of anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine for the first time and in addition announced this week that it could quit Russian oil by late summer in a further show of support for Ukraine.

Mr Scholz denied responding hesitantly to Russia’s invasion: “I’ve always made quick decisions, in tandem with everyone else… but my line is that we act in a level-headed and prudent manner.”

He insisted that Germany stands “firmly by the side” of Ukraine as officials highlighted Mr Scholz suspension of Nord Stream 2 in addition to military support and weaning the country off dependence on Russian oil.

The remarks comes as the European Commission is expected to propose a sixth package of EU sanctions this week against Russia, including a possible embargo on buying Russian oil which Germany said on Monday it was prepared to back.

Mr Scholz vowed sanctions will not be lifted until Russian president Vladimir Putin signs a peace deal with Ukraine that Kyiv can support.

Ambassadors from EU countries will discuss the proposed oil sanctions when they meet on Wednesday.

Ukraine has been critical of Germany’s support since Russia’s invasion started

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