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Selenskyj invites Scholz and Steinmeier to Kyiv after weeks of tension – POLITICO

BERLIN – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj invited Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier to Kyiv on Thursday.

An official at the Office of the Federal President confirmed to POLITICO that Selenskyj had invited Scholz, Steinmeier and the entire federal government, thus signaling a thaw in relations after weeks of diplomatic tensions.

A phone call held between Zelenskyy and Steinmeier on Thursday was the first since mid-April, when Kyiv said the German president was not welcome to visit him and accused him of taking a previously soft stance on Russian President Vladimir Putin who had launched a deadly invasion of Russia in February.

After the diplomatic snub, Steinmeier, who was in Warsaw at the time to continue his trip to Ukraine, turned around and expressed disappointment with Kiev’s decision.

But Kyiv and Berlin now seem to have cleared the air. According to a, both presidents described the call on Thursday as “very important and very good”. press release from Steinmeier’s office.

Zelenskyj too spoken of “a good, constructive, important conversation” and said he thanked Steinmeier “for the strong support of Ukraine”, adding: “Expect an intensification.”

“German leadership is important to counteract Russian aggression,” said the Ukrainian president.

“Germany remains a powerful ally of Ukraine,” added Andriy Yermak, Zelenskyy’s chief of staff. “All I can say is that the hopes of Russians that the unity of Europe will be divided because of support for Ukraine is a vain hope.”

Tensions between Kyiv and Berlin had resulted in Chancellor Olaf Scholz refusing to travel to Kyiv himself, and earlier this week argued that the way Ukraine had treated Steinmeier was “in the way” of his own visit .

The Ambassador of Ukraine in Berlin, Andriy Melnyk, who had criticized the federal government for weeks for insufficient support for his country, accused Scholz of sulking.

Scholz doubled down during a press conference on Wednesday, saying Kiev’s behavior is not just a problem for him, but for “the entire German people.”

Sergei Kuznetsov contributed to the coverage.

https://www.politico.eu/article/zelenskyy-steinmeier-scholz-ukraine-germany-relationship-tension/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=RSS_Syndication Selenskyj invites Scholz and Steinmeier to Kyiv after weeks of tension – POLITICO

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