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German Chancellor on Ukrainian Insult: It’s More Important to “Focus on Essential” Issues
By Staff, Agencies
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said there is no need to “overreact” to an insulting statement made by the Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin. Andrey Melnik had earlier compared Scholz to an “offended liverwurst.”
The chancellor told t-online news outlet on Sunday that it was not necessary to be overly “sensitive” to every word said by Ukrainian officials, but confirmed that he still had no plans to visit Kiev.
It is more important to “focus on essential” issues, Scholz added, explaining that Berlin is still seeking to help Kiev “defend itself,” and to make Russia “withdraw its troops from Ukraine.”
He said he was “very happy” that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his German counterpart, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had agreed to move past old grudges. The two leaders spoke in early May after Kiev called off Steinmeier’s April visit to Ukraine over his supposed links to the Kremlin.
A brief diplomatic spat also saw Melnik sharply criticize Scholz for his reluctance to visit Kiev. In early May, the diplomat said the German chancellor was not being “statesmanlike” and later refused to apologize, pointing to the fact that the issue had been cleared up by the two presidents and was not “about whether someone feels offended.”
On Sunday, Scholz confirmed that he still had no plans to visit Kiev in the near future. “A politically responsible person should only go to Kiev if there are specific matters that absolutely need to be discussed on the spot,” he said.
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