War in Ukraine: Why Ambassador Melnyk is messing with the SPD – Politics

From the SPD’s point of view, this can already be seen as a success: After the meeting, things stayed calm, at least for the time being. No further tips from the Ukrainian ambassador against the SPD on Twitter, no subsequent television appearance in which he made new allegations against the federal government and the Social Democrats. Andriy Melnyk met with SPD co-chair Saskia Esken for about an hour on Wednesday. It was a “pleasant and friendly” conversation, participants said afterwards, and confidentiality had been agreed.

Andriy Melnyk insists that Germany immediately stop imports of Russian oil and gas and supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. Before meeting Esken, he announced on ZDF that the aim of the talks was to convince the SPD and thus also the federal government that Ukraine “needs heavy weapons right away”. The federal government, on the other hand, rejects an immediate oil and gas embargo and asserts that there are no heavy weapons that could be supplied from Bundeswehr stocks.

The public dispute between Melnyk on the one hand and the SPD and the federal government on the other is all the more uncomfortable for the Social Democrats because the ambassador identified them as the biggest brakes on arms deliveries – and similar demands are being made towards Olaf Scholz from the ranks of the Greens and FDP. The chancellor said on Tuesday evening that he had promised Ukraine that he would finance direct arms deliveries from German industry. Among them are anti-tank weapons, anti-aircraft devices, ammunition “and also what can be used in an artillery battle”.

Like Melnyk, Anton Hofreiter (Greens) demanded a quick delivery of tanks to Ukraine. “Rheinmetall itself says that they have a whole range of Marten-tanks that could be delivered in a very short time,” he says on ZDF. The FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann basically welcomed Scholz’s announcement on Twitter. But this was “still not concrete enough”.

The Ministry of Defense also disagrees with the ambassador

Most recently, Melnyk accused the federal government of having “no heavy weapons” on the federal government’s list. The argument that tanks from Bundeswehr stocks cannot be supplied is incomprehensible. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense countered this on Wednesday by pointing out, among other things, that the Ukrainian ambassador had the information from the “marketing department” of armaments companies. In fact, Melnyk said on ZDF that he had the information that Germany could supply tanks to Ukraine “also from the armaments industry.”

The dispute continues to smolder. Former foreign minister and SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel added another component to it on Wednesday. He visited former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in Hanover, both of whom Melnyk criticized harshly for their attitude towards Russia. the picture-Zeitung quoted Gabriel as saying that Schröder’s talks in Istanbul and Moscow on the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia had been exchanged. Schröder held the talks in March.

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