The ‘lalistat’ Ukrainian ambassador Andriy Melnik

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He called the chancellor an “offended sausage”. He indiscriminately criticizes and insults even the German president. Andriy Melnik has exceeded the limits of his role.

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The fish-haired Ukrainian ambassador is everywhere with his characteristic glasses and elegant suit. But it does not stand out so much from its appearance and good German, but from the content of what it says. Since the invasion of his country by Russia, Andriy Melnik has been talking non-stop, giving interviews, appearing on almost all German talk shows, posting on twitter, commenting and criticizing indiscriminate situations and people without regard for positions and personalities, ministers, politicians, even German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier himself, to whom he has remarkably presented his credentials.

“Infected sausage” the chancellor?

As for Germany’s stance on this war, it has an opinion that it does not hesitate to express openly. For weeks he pressured Germany to supply heavy weapons to his country. And when Berlin finally gave the green light to the Gepard-type anti-aircraft tanks, it asked why Gepard and not the Marder. “The Gepards are 40 years old, they are old to defeat Russia, Ukraine needs modern German weapons,” he said in an interview with Bild on Sunday (01.05). But the demands, as much as they sounded too much to some, to boost Germany’s military assistance to an aggressive war by a superpower, could be justified by the anxiety for its country’s survival. Mr Melnik, however, has long ceased to use “diplomatic” pretexts and uses highly non-diplomatic descriptions and expressions. Maybe even offensive. The last target of his characterization was Chancellor Soltz, who in a TV interview with ZDF reiterated that he was not going to visit Kyiv, because a few weeks ago German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier was described by Kyiv as undesirable. In a statement to the German news agency DPA, the Ukrainian ambassador said that “pretending to be an offended sausage does not resemble the attitude of a political leader, it is the most brutal war of extermination by the Nazi aggression in Ukraine, it is not.” It may have been the most “advanced” insult to a senior German official, but not the only one.

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For example, in Der Spiegel he described the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Michael Roth, as “ma .a.a.” , they even visited Ukraine together. And to the President of the Republic Steinmeier he gained closeness with Russia. In an interview with the Tagespiegel, he accused him of having created a “web of contacts (with Russia) for years”. The Ukrainian ambassador also clashed with Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock and former Social Democrat Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. “How was it possible for Germany to become almost completely dependent on this Russian state and for Ukraine to become hostage to these relations and to have to pay for the suffering of civilians?” He asked on twitter. A twitter on Twitter gives a taste of the orgy of German reactions to his posts, which call on him, if he does not like Germany, to return his credentials and leave.

Not a word from Soltz

There is no doubt that Andriy Melnik is divisive and offensive. In other countries the foreign ministry would have called him to protest, or in the worst case would have deported him. But this has not yet happened in Germany. And it may never happen because of the special circumstances, historical and political. But there are many MPs and party officials who, sometimes openly, sometimes in the background, have expressed their dissatisfaction with the way and the offensive words that a diplomat chooses to express himself. No one can invoke “ignorance” or lack of experience. Because Melnik has studied International Relations and holds a PhD in law. He later served as Undersecretary of State for European Affairs in the government of Arseni Yatsenyuk, has been ambassador to Germany since 2015, and since February 24, the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has been in the spotlight. Yesterday, Tuesday, Olaf Soltz did not leave a shadow of dissatisfaction with the insulting characterizations of the Ukrainian ambassador. At the Mezeberg Palace, he and his ministers had the opportunity to discuss key issues, “which concern us all.” The war in Ukraine, the effects on the security sector and the economy. Melnik did not utter a word in the verbal attacks.

But others did it and in fact with great severity. “Olaf Solz is not a sausage, he is the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, and that must be respected,” said Parliamentary Vice-President Wolfgang Kubiki. Tino Chroupala, president of K.O. of the far-right “Alternative for Germany”, called for consequences. “Such provocations and insults against constitutional bodies can not be ignored, the German government must summon Ambassador Melnik to the (Foreign Ministry) and if it continues, it must insist and demand its revocation.” Defense Committee Chairman Marie-Agnes Strak-Zimmerman intervened in the fire and tried to normalize the situation by defending the chancellor. “Ukraine did not accept the visit of the President of the Republic and now can not wait for the visit of the Chancellor, maybe Mr. Melnik will simply apologize to the President and politely invite the Chancellor.” However, the key question remains: How far can it go? does an ambassador with his criticism reach a country in which he is accredited?

Irini Anastassopoulou

Source: Deutsche Welle

Source: Capital

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