‘s visit to Kiev President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier was not welcomed by Ukraine, the president told reporters on April 12.
German President Steinmeier planned to visit Kiev with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda and the presidents of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia “to send a strong signal about Europe’s solidarity with Ukraine there,” he told reporters during a visit to Warsaw.
“I’m ready for that. But it seems, I have to admit, that’s not desired in Kiev,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said without further explanation, according to Reuters.
It remains unclear whether other European leaders will visit Ukraine without Steinmeier.
The Guardian reports that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier is on a state visit to Poland to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Russia – Ukraine war with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda.
Earlier, Germany’s Bild newspaper reported on the same day that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had rejected Steinmeier’s plan to visit due to the German leader’s close relationship with Russia in recent years. Mr. Steinmeier has for many years supported the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – a project designed to double the flow of Russian gas directly to Germany. Project gas This has now been suspended.
“We all here know Mr. Steinmeier’s close relationship with Russia, also marked by the Steinmeier formula. He is not welcome in Kiev right now. We will see if that changes one day,” a Ukrainian diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity told Bild.
The “Steinmeier Formula” is a proposal made by Mr. Steinmeier in 2016 while he was foreign minister with the aim of breaking the deadlock in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on peace in Ukraine. eastern Ukraine. The proposal, a simplified version of the Minsk agreements, calling for elections in the territories controlled by the separatists under Ukrainian law, was made by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) ) monitoring. This attempt failed after both Moscow and Kiev failed to implement the Minsk agreement.
Asked to comment on Steinmeier’s remarks, a German government spokesman said: “Germany has been and is one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters and will continue to be.”
“The Federal President has a clear and unequivocal position on Ukraine’s side,” the spokesman added.
Mr. Steinmeier of the Social Democrats, served as foreign minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel before being elected president. He knew Russian President Vladimir Putin since 2001.
He told Spiegel magazine in an interview published earlier on April 12 that a speech by Mr Putin in the German lower house in 2001, speaking in German to lawmakers, gave him hope. about better relations between Moscow and Berlin.