German Chancellor Olaf Scholz slammed for not visiting Kyiv or sending tanks to Ukraine

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticised over Ukraine stance  (PA Wire)
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz criticised over Ukraine stance (PA Wire)

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was slammed on Friday by Ukraine’s ambassador in Berlin for not visiting Kyiv or sending tanks to fight Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Andriy Melnyk tore into the German leader for “perfidious logic” and suggested he was “waiting for a ceasefire” rather than take “courageous decisions” to send heavy weapons for use by Ukraine’s army.

In a highly unusual intervention for a top diplomat, he also heavily criticised Mr Scholz for not visiting Ukraine’s capital to show solidarity for his nation.

Asked on the RND media outlet whether Germany was playing for time on the delivery of heavy weapons such as tanks to Ukraine, he said: “It looks like this.

“One can get the impression of waiting for a ceasefire. Then the pressure from Germany will be gone and there will no longer be any need for courageous decisions. That’s a perfidious logic that will leave people in the lurch.”

He added: “We have the impression that the Chancellor does not want to deliver. There are only seven self-propelled howitzers, but no Gepard tanks for us and neither Leopard 1 nor Marder.”

Asked whether Mr Scholz’s reluctance to go to Kyiv may be linked to the delay in supplying heavy weapons, he explained: “I think so. This is probably one of the real reasons why the Chancellor is not making this trip. Because he doesn’t seem ready to finally implement the historic decision to use heavy weapons, even though there is a decision by the German Parliament that is now three weeks old.”

In stark terms, he also told of anger in Kyiv that Mr Scholz, unlike Boris Johnson and other western leaders, was yet to visit the Ukrainian capital.

“The fact that the head of government of a country that describes itself as a great friend of Ukraine does not want to travel to Kyiv bothers and irritates us,” he said.

“But this incomprehensible reluctance is also a certain signal, and a wrong one at that.”

Pressed on Mr Scholz reportedly saying that a Kyiv trip should not just be about a symbolic photo shoot, he added: “That’s an unfortunate statement. One should not downplay the visits of others to Kyiv.

“A lot of heads of state and government have come to visit us, and decisions on how to help Ukraine have been announced at every visit. I still cannot understand the Chancellor’s reluctance.”

However, Mr Scholz has rejected criticism that Germany was not showing leadership in western efforts to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons to repel Russia’s invasion, saying that he would rather be cautious than make hasty decisions.

“I take my decisions fast and in concert with our partners,” he said recently, rejecting accusations of prevarication.

In late April, Germany approved the delivery of “Gepard” anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine and just days ago the Defence Ministry in Berlin said it would give the Czech Republic 15 Leopard 2 tanks as part of a “ring exchange” programme to help countries pass their stocks of Soviet weaponry to Ukraine to help it fight Russia.

Germany is far more heavily dependent on Russian gas than many other European nations.