Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba criticized Germany for its “recent statements”. “German partners are to end with such words and actions undermining unity and encourage Vladimir Putin to attack Ukraine again,” wrote the head of Ukrainian diplomacy.
“Recent statements by Germany on the impossibility of handing over defensive weapons to Ukraine, including by allowing third parties to do so; on the lack of a prospect of reclaiming Crimea; the hesitation in separating Russia from SWIFT does not match the level of our relations and the current situation“- wrote the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter.
As he added, “the unity of the West towards Russia is now more important than ever.” “German partners are to end with such words and actions undermine unity and encourage Vladimir Putin to a new attack on Ukraine,” he said.
He stressed that Ukraine is grateful to Germany for the support it has shown since 2014 and for diplomatic efforts to settle the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict. “But the current statement is disappointing and contradicts this support and efforts,” he underlined.
Diplomatic screeching after the statements of the German vice admiral
According to the Reuters agency, the commander of the German Navy, Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach, said that Putin deserves respect and that Ukraine will never regain Crimea. “What he (Putin) really wants is respect. My God, it costs little or nothing to honor someone … You can easily give him the respect he demands and probably deserves,” he said German media circulated. He assessed that Russia’s actions in relation to Ukraine should be dealt with, but added that “the Crimean peninsula is gone, it will never come back, it’s a fact.”
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on the German government to publicly correct the deputy admiral’s statements regarding the Crimea.
Reuters agency reports that the German government distanced itself from the words of the commander. A spokesman for the defense ministry noted that the deputy admiral’s statements did not reflect the position of Germany. Schoenbach himself apologized for his “hasty” comments and stated that it was a mistake. He emphasized that the words that were said during the discussion organized by one of the think tanks in India were his private opinion and did not reflect the official position of the ministry.
Ukraine “will not rest in convincing the German government”
German Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Saturday once again rejected Ukraine’s demands for defensive weapons and military equipment. In an interview with the daily “Welt am Sonntag” she said that “everything must now be done to bring about de-escalation”. In the federal government, she added, there is “consensus” that the supply of arms to Ukraine “would not be helpful at the moment.” – I understand that people want to support Ukraine. But that is exactly what we are already doing. In February, a complete field hospital will be handed over with the necessary training, all co-financed by Germany in the amount of EUR 5.3 million – she said. Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, told the Handelsblatt newspaper on Saturday that the “gravity of the situation” requires the German government to “immediately rethink and change course with regard to the supply of equipment to Ukraine.” – At the moment, Ukraine is not even asking for weapons from Germany, but for 100,000 helmets and protective vests for volunteers who will defend their homeland together with the armed forces, he said. He added that Ukraine “will not rest in persuading the German government and the opposition to provide defensive weapons to Ukraine.”
German ambassador summoned to the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
On Saturday evening, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the German ambassador to this country, Anki Feldhusen, had been summoned to the ministry. “The statements of the German Navy Commander Kay-Achim Schoenbach are categorically unacceptable, including that Crimea will never return to Ukraine and that our country cannot meet the NATO membership criteria,” the Ukrainian ministry said in a press release. “Deep disappointment was also expressed with the stance of the German government on the failure to hand over defensive weapons to Ukraine,” he added.
Main photo source: EPA / FOREIGN MINISTRY PRESS SERVICE