German President persona non grata in kyiv

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wanted to visit kyiv. Not being welcome there, he had to give up. ” I was ready to go, but apparently they didn’t want him in kyiv and I make a note of that.”declared from Warsaw, on Tuesday, April 12, specifying that the idea of ​​this trip meant addressing “a strong signal of European solidarity with Ukraine” It had been proposed to him by his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, and in which the presidents of the three Baltic countries, the Estonian Alar Karis, the Latvian Egils Levits and the Lithuanian Gitanas Nauseda, would also participate. On Wednesday, the four heads of state took the road to kyiv to meet Volodymyr there. Zelensky.

The cancellation of this trip by the German president confirms information from the newspaper Image. In an article published Tuesday under the headline “Steinmeier banned from Ukraine by Zelensky,” the conservative tabloid quoted a Ukrainian diplomat explaining why Frank-Walter Steinmeier is persona non grata in his country: “We all know about his close relationship with Russia. He is not welcome in kyiv at the moment. We’ll see if that changes. »

a brutal snub

For Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the snub is brutal. Former head of the federal chancellery under Gerhard Schröder (1998-2005), twice foreign minister under Angela Merkel (2005-2009 and then 2013-2017), the German president, who was re-elected in February for a second five-year term term – has long been classified in the category of “Putin Understood” (“those who understand Putin”). A label that sticks to his skin from his friendship with the former Social Democratic chancellor, hired by the Russian giant Gazprom three weeks after his departure from the government, in 2005, but also from the close relations that he has always sought to maintain between Berlin. and Moscow during the ten years he was at the helm of German diplomacy.

Also read the archive (2017): Schröder elected chairman of Russian oil giant Rosneft

Unlike Angela Merkel, who is also in a hurry to account for her policy towards Russia but who for the moment refuses to speak, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has chosen to explain himself, grateful for the first time, on April 4, for having “cheated” about vladimir putin “I did not think that Putin would lead his country to economic, political and moral ruin in the name of his imperial madness. Like others, I misunderstood.he acknowledged, that day, on the public channel ARD, regretting in particular that he had been a fervent defender of the controversial Nord Stream 2, that gas pipeline that connects Russia with Germany through the Baltic, a symbol of Berlin’s dependence on Moscow. “My support for Nord Stream 2 was clearly a mistake. We clung to a ‘bridge’ that Russia did not believe in and that other partners had warned us about”Mr. Steinmeier said.

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