In an interview with the European Pravda published on April 14, Ukraine’s Envoy to Germany Andriy Melnyk discussed the relations between Berlin and Kyiv.
Melnyk said that the German public is putting on pressure on its government, not least because Russia is effectively controlling the country’s economic well-being. He also noted that it does not suffice for Germany to give the green light to Ukraine’s membership in the Union as Berlin needs to revamp its approach to Kyiv.
“They took the first step last year when forming the new government. We were happy that the coalition deal, albeit vaguely, mentioned Ukraine’s prospect of becoming part of the EU,” said Melnyk.
He added that Germany is being accused of dragging heels, saying that Berlin only takes decisions when forced to. This includes delayed arms supply, sanctions, and other aspects. However, Berlin has a historical chance to review its approach and say something along the lines of: “We are giving Ukraine the chance to hold accession talks faster than the Balkan countries.”
According to Melnyk, if Berlin does so, then Kyiv might accede to the Union in 3-5 years. Lars Klingbeil and Saskia Esken, the ruling Social Democratic Party’s co-leaders, have already sent many positive signals, emphasizing that Ukraine will become part of the EU. Melnyk also added that if Berlin uses the European integration trump card, then Ukrainians will likely turn a blind eye to its past strategic failures, such as the Nord Stream.
“Germany must spearhead the process, convincing France, the Netherlands, the Benelux states, Hungary. It must change its paradigm. They already saw that Ukraine is fighting not only for its freedom or independence but also for the underlying EU values. I am optimistic that we will complete this track, with Germany ending up on the right side of history,” Melnyk said.
He also added that the German public and journalists are very pro-Ukraine: “Everyone I meet, including politicians and journalists, say that they are hosting a Ukrainian family.”
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