German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier planned to visit Kyiv on April 13. However, his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky refused to meet him, according to the German tabloid Bild and public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
“We all know about Steinmeier’s close ties with Russia, which were exposed among other things by the Steinmeier formula. Right now, we are not happy to see him in Kyiv. We will see whether that changes,” an unnamed Ukrainian diplomat reportedly told Bild.
The newspaper added that Kyiv has sent an official reply to the Federal President’s Office, notifying Berlin about Zelensky’s unpreparedness to host Steinmeier, who met his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Poland on April 12.
Kyiv’s decision is the result of Steinmeier’s years-long policy of maintaining close economic and political ties with Moscow, including Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. Along with many other German politicians, he advocated for Russian dictator’s Vladimir Putin’s pet project – the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline – while urging Ukraine to implement the detrimental Minsk Agreements that were meant to end the war that Russia started in 2014 by forcibly seizing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
Last week, Steinmeier apologized for his approach, acknowledging that it was a mistake to carry out a Russia-friendly policy.
Other key German political figures, including ex-Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom Zelensky invited to visit Bucha together with the former President of France Nicolas Sarkozy, have not expressed any regret and did not accept Zelensky’s invitation.
Furthermore, Merkel underscored that her decision to obstruct Ukraine’s accession to NATO in 2008 was the right one and traveled to Florence instead of Bucha.
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