Zelensky dismisses Ukraine’s envoy to Germany and other ambassadors

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visits Ukrainian service member sites, as Russia’s offensive on Ukraine continues, in Dnipropetrovsk region, Ukraine July 8, 2022. Ukrainian Presidential Press Service / Posted via Reuters

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Kyiv (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday sacked several of Kyiv’s top envoys abroad, including his country’s ambassador to Germany, the presidential website said.

And Zelensky, in a decree that did not give a reason for the move, announced the dismissal of the ambassadors of Ukraine to Germany, India, the Czech Republic, Norway and Hungary.

It was not immediately clear whether the envoys would be assigned to new positions.

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Zelensky urged his diplomats to mobilize international support and military aid to Ukraine as it tries to fend off a Russian invasion on February 24.

Kyiv’s relations with Germany, which is heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies and also Europe’s largest economy, are particularly sensitive.

Andrei Melnik, who was appointed ambassador to Germany by Zelensky’s predecessor in late 2014, is well known among politicians and diplomats in Berlin.

The 46-year-old regularly engages in frank exchanges on social media, describing politicians and intellectuals who oppose arming Ukraine to fight the Russian invasion as sedatives.

He once accused German Chancellor Olaf Schulz of behaving like a “liver sausage” when Schulz did not immediately accept an invitation from Zelensky to visit Kyiv.

Kyiv and Berlin are currently at loggerheads over a German-made turbine undergoing maintenance in Canada. Germany wants Ottawa to return turbines to Russian natural gas giant Gazprom to pump gas to Europe. Read more

Kyiv urged Canada to keep the turbines, saying that shipping them to Russia would be a violation of sanctions against Moscow. Read more

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(cover) Pavel Politiuk and Thomas Eskerrit Writing by Tom Palmforth Editing by Helen Popper and Frances Kerry

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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