Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Germany irritated by Ukraine’s diplomatic snub

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday criticized a diplomatic snub by Ukraine for his country’s president and defended Berlin’s record on delivering weapons to Kyiv amid tensions that have flared at a delicate moment in German policymaking on the war. President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s largely ceremonial head of state, had hoped to travel to Ukraine on Wednesday with his Polish and Baltic counterparts. But he said Tuesday that his presence “apparently … wasn’t wanted in Kyiv.” (https://news.yahoo.com/germany-irritated-ukraines-snub-presidential-150143674.html) The German newspaper Bild quoted an unidentified Ukrainian diplomat as saying that Steinmeier was not welcome at the moment, pointing to his close relations with Russia in the past. Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany later said the government would be glad to welcome Scholz — who, unlike Steinmeier, sets government policy. But the snub to Steinmeier may make that more difficult. “The president would have liked to go to Ukraine,” Scholz told rbb24 Inforadio, noting that Steinmeier is Germany’s head of state and was recently reelected with broad support. “It is, in any case, somewhat irritating, to put it politely,” Scholz added, noting that Steinmeier has strongly criticized Russia’s war and called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdraw his troops from Ukraine.

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