BERLIN — Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany Andrij Melnyk on Tuesday criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for his criticism of Ukraine.
“This is the most brutal war of extermination since the Nazi invasion of Ukraine, this is not a kindergarten,” Melnyk said, according to German news agency DPA, in reaction to comments made by Scholz during an interview on Monday evening.
In the interview, Scholz said Ukraine’s decision last month not to host German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier “prevents” him from visiting Kyiv.
It was not an acceptable way to treat the president of “a country that provides so much military assistance, so much financial assistance, which is necessary in terms of the security guarantees that are important for Ukraine in the future,” Scholz said.
But Melnyk dismissed Scholz’s reasoning. “It doesn’t seem very political to behave like an offended liverwurst,” he replied, using a German slang term – Beleidigte Leberwurst — for someone who is easily offended or can’t stand a joke.
Melnyk, who became Kyiv’s ambassador to Germany in 2015, has been one of the most vocal critics of the German government since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
The ambassador is a polarizing figure: for some Germans, he is a welcome thorn in the flesh of a government they perceive as inert; while others criticized his frequent attacks on Berlin as undiplomatic and unnecessary.