And Andrej Melnik, Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, dared compare German Chancellor Olaf Schulz on Tuesday to an “annoying sausage”. This is not the first provocation of this unparalleled diplomat as it hurts Germany, which has often been criticized for its indecisiveness in its Ukraine policy.
It’s not every day that German Chancellor Olaf Schulz is publicly called a ‘sausage’. [Leberwurst, littéralement saucisse de foie à tartiner, NDLR] insulted.” It is even rarer when such a comparison comes from the mouth of an experienced diplomat, a lawyer by training, who has mastered Goethe’s language perfectly and has a reputation for being a “very meticulous” person.
But Olaf Schultz was no more surprised. This outing was an insult to the chancellor announced by Andrei Melnik, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany. From the start of the war, his pompous language and shouting had elevated him to the rank of “the lowest diplomatic diplomat in history”, according to the Süddeutsche Zeitung or even a foreign envoy “Germany’s strangest[it] never known,” according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
“Annoying sausage”, “Idiot…”, “Shut your mouth”
If the 46-year-old diplomat, impeccably dressed and adored by the media, directly attacked the head of government this time, it is because the latter just announced that he will not go to Kyiv immediately. the reason ? He did not appreciate the Ukrainian government’s refusal to receive German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in April. Ukrainians accuse him of favoring Germany’s conciliatory policy toward Russia under Angela Merkel.
In the face of Olaf Schultz’s reaction, Andrej Melnik wanted to return the dots to the i: “We are talking here about the most brutal attack against a people in Europe since World War II. This is not an entertainment court. This pesky sausage is unbecoming of a head of state,” he told German television. “.
The Social Democrats of the Social Democratic Party – Olaf Scholz’s party – were angry, albeit to a moderate degree, He regrets the tone used by the Ukrainian diplomat. But no more. Indeed, before everyone else, these days, when Andrei Melnik speaks, you get a taste of Germany.
The Twitter Parties From Mr. Ambassador, in fact, many protagonists wear it for the winter. “You really are an idiot…”Thus he turned to a German political scientist who, at the beginning of March, called on Kyiv to surrender so as not to “unnecessarily prolong the war”. The kindness he also addressed to SPD deputy Michael Roth, guilty in his eyes that he remained too vague about the help that could not be given to the Ukrainians. Fabio de Masi, elected member of the Radical Left party, received D-Link, “Shut your mouth” after wanting to speak out about far-right elements in the Ukrainian army.
Andrej Mellick has no provocation or even free insult. Every evening, he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, which dedicated him to a selfie, “I wonder if I have made my country’s case or if I have angered a new German official for nothing.”
The Big Mouth of Ukrainian Diplomacy
“He is convinced that Germany will only act if it exerts maximum pressure on it,” said Julia Friedrich, a specialist on Ukrainian security issues and German-Ukrainian relations at the Institute for Global Public Policy in Berlin.
For a diplomat like Andrej Melnik, this means not contenting himself with discussing topics, and taking a thousand and one reserve to remain faithful to the principle of the sacred diplomatic reserve. The Ukrainian envoy “has no filter and guarantees 24 hours a day access to any television set,” ZDF asserts.
An explosive mixture to anyone who would seem an obstacle to the task that Andrei Melnik set himself from the beginning of the war: to persuade the Germans to deliver heavy weapons to Ukraine and participate in the embargo of Russian gas and oil.
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He does not miss an opportunity to discredit the German government’s reluctance on this issue and to identify who, in his view, embodies it. He did not hesitate, for example, to inform the media of his interview, the day after the start of the Russian invasion, with Christian Lindner, Minister of Finance from the ranks of the German liberal party. The latter would have told him that he did not understand why sanctions should be imposed on Russia, given that the war would be won by the Russians in “a few hours” anyway. “It’s the most painful interview I’ve had in my entire life,” the ambassador said. The minister was quick to deny that he had ever made such statements.
Andrej Melnik did not improvise major diplomacy in favor of the war. Scholar Julia Friedrich asserts: “Before that, he was little known to the general public, but he already had a reputation for telling his interlocutor his four truths.”
He was appointed ambassador in 2014, having already worked at the Consulate General of Ukraine between 2007 and 2010. He played for some time the role of a “good diplomat” who doesn’t make a fuss in the press before understanding that “politicians don’t” are afraid of the bad image in media,” he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
The diplomat criticized
Then he began to express himself even louder, in particular to denounce the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which he “considered a prelude to declaring war on Ukraine”, as the Sueddeutsche Zeitung asserts.
Andrej Melnik also knows he’s “going forward on a very narrow string”. His tireless attacks on German officials won him more than friends. In the media, some commentators call him a “stupid diplomat” who must understand that you get nothing by making enemies only. The hashtag #returnMelnyk even peaked on Twitter in Germany.
“Some German politicians are angry with him because they would like Ukraine to thank Germany for the financial and military support it has already provided. But Andrei Melnik is there to remind them that he does not think this is enough,” analyzes Julia Friedrich.
The researcher also finds that those who accuse her of being too few conciliatory to get results are wrong. After all, “Germany last week voted in favor of sending heavy weapons to Ukraine. Not only thanks to the efforts of Andrej Melnik, but it must have something to do with it,” concludes the specialist.