War in Ukraine: on arms deliveries, Berlin “lack of political will”

Andrij Melnyk, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, former ambassador to Germany, judges German politics towards kyiv.

Interview by Thomas Wieder (Berlin, Correspondent)

Born in Lviv in 1975, Andrij Melnyk was Ukraine Ambassador to Germany from January 2015 to October 2022. In this position, he forged a reputation as an iconoclastic diplomat, not hesitating to admonish the German government in media and social networks. Now in kyiv, he was appointed, on November 18, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Wednesday, November 30, the Bundestag recognized as genocide the Holodomor [the great famine organized by the Stalinist regime of 1932-1933 in Ukraine]. What is your reaction?

I’m extremely happy. It will remain a historic day. As an ambassador, I have pleaded for years for this. Unfortunately, the “great coalition” [by Chancellor Angela Merkel] did not want to know anything, the subject was put under the carpet and neglected. If this recognition had taken place earlier, for example in 2019, when the Bundestag was seized of a petition having collected more than 70,000 signatures, Germany may have recognized the genocidal project of Vladimir Putin with regard to Ukrainians and avoided this barbaric war.

nine months after the start of the war, did Germany support Ukraine enough?

We must distinguish society and government. Within the population, but this is particularly true among experts and in the media, I have always felt, as ambassador, real solidarity with regard to Ukraine. Since the attack on Russia, the vast majority of Germans have understood that Putin is not only trying to destroy us, the Ukrainians, but that it is Europe as a whole and, beyond, the whole West As a community of values, which he wants to reduce to nothing. For that, I am very grateful to our German friends. We feared, this summer, that the energy crisis and the outbreak of prices are flanching this support. Thank God, solidarity has remained intact. The German company made its Zeitenwende [“historic turning point”, the formula used by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, on February 27, at the Bundestag tribune]. Hat!

and the government?

I will not surprise you by telling you that I am more skeptical. Take the “special fund” of 100 billion euros to modernize the Bundeswehr. Since the Chancellor announced it on February 27, there was very little orders for new equipment, according to well -informed people. In addition, this exceptional envelope was not accompanied by an increase in the defense budget up to 2 % of GDP. However if Germany really wants to become a great military power, 100 billion euros will not be enough. It is not just great words. Acts must follow and much faster than today.

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/Media reports cited above.