Moscow: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that he had been irritated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s refusal to welcome President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Kiev.
On Tuesday, Steinmeier said that he wanted to travel to Ukraine together with other European leaders but his visit was not wanted in Kiev.
“The federal president really wanted to go to Ukraine and visit President [Zelenskyy]. He is Germany’s head of state, who was reelected for his contribution by a large cross-party majority. That is why accepting him would be just as good,” Scholz told German RBB24 broadcaster.
Asked if Scholz saw the snub of the president as an insult he said, “I don’t want to comment on it at all. It is somewhat irritating, to put it mildly.”
The snub of what was supposed to be a surprise visit by Steinmeier was leaked to the German daily Bild.
Ukrainian officials told the paper that Steinmeier was not wanted in Kiev because of his perceived close ties to Russia and its foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. They did not rule out hosting him later.