German chancellor should confront Russia with ultimatum, says former ambassador Andrey Melnik
A Ukrainian diplomat known for his combative attitude towards Germany during his time as ambassador in Berlin has urged Chancellor Olaf Scholz to issue an ultimatum to Russia.
A tweet daring the German leader to do more for Ukraine was posted on Monday by Andrey Melnik, now deputy foreign minister. The diplomat, who was promoted last week, rejected Scholz’s demand that Russia “end the war” against Ukraine, the appellant “just words”.
“Russia understands only force. Give [Russian President Vladimir] Putin an ultimatum. With painful consequences, Melnik told the Chancellor, without specifying the exact terms of the proposed threat. He added a photo of himself in a T-shirt against a snowy landscape, making a V sign with his hand.
Melnik became famous for his style of communication during his stint as Ukrainian envoy in Berlin. At one point he called Chancellor Scholz “an offended liver sausage” for his challenge to kyiv’s negative attitude towards German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Scholz was reluctant to travel to kyiv in the spring after the Ukrainian government rebuffed a proposed visit from Steinmeier. When he was German foreign minister, Steinmeier promoted a Ukrainian peace plan known as the Minsk Accords, which kyiv ultimately refused to implement.
Mon Herr @Bundeskanzler aus Kyjiw. Schön, dass Sie Putin aufriefen: “Beende diesen Krieg”👏🏻Aber das sind nur Worte. Russia versteht nur Stärke. Stellen Sie Putin ein Ultimatum. Mit schmerzhaften Folgen. Um den Energie-Genozid gegen die Ukrainer zu stoppen. Tun Sie das. Cock pic.twitter.com/yRXdgOAjBb
—Andrij Melnyk (@MelnykAndrij) November 20, 2022
As ambassador, Melnik criticized what he called Berlin’s insufficient support for his country and leveled strong rebukes at many other German officials and public figures.
Among his targets were those who wondered why his adult son was living in Germany instead of joining the Ukrainian army to fight Russia. When Die Linke party politician Ezgi Guyildar asked the question last month, Melnik said she belonged to a “pro-Putin, Stalinist, inhumane, heartless, horrible” political force, adding a few personal insults.
US billionaire Elon Musk was another target of Melnik’s ire. When the SpaceX CEO suggested kyiv might have to make concessions to Russia to get a peace deal, the diplomat told him to “Kiss my ass”describing him as a “very diplomatic response” at Musk’s suggestion. The businessman then joked that he followed the recommendation, briefly denying the Ukrainian government free access to the Starlink internet system.
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Melnik was called back to Kyiv after an interview he gave this summer, in which he tried to whitewash the crimes of Ukrainian nationalist forces during World War II. Melnik claimed that the people fighting under the banner of Stepan Bandera were like the highwaymen led by Robin Hood rather than Nazi collaborators, who committed ethnic cleansing of Poles and Jews.
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