Scholz says "irritated" by Ukraine's snub of German president
Germany's Chancellor says he was irritated by the Ukrainian President's refusal to welcome the German president.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday he was irritated by the Ukrainian President's refusal to welcome Germany's President to Kiev.
Germany's President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, had said on Tuesday that he wanted to travel to Ukraine with other European leaders, but he was not wanted in Kiev.
"The federal president really wanted to go to Ukraine and visit President [Zelensky]. He is Germany’s head of state, who was re-elected for his contribution by a large cross-party majority. That is why accepting him would be just as good," Scholz told German RBB24 broadcaster.
When asked if he saw the snub as an insult, Scholz said he found it irritating: "I don’t want to comment on it at all. It is somewhat irritating, to put it mildly."
The snub was first revealed by German daily Bild. Officials from Ukraine told the paper that the German President was not wanted in Ukraine because he was seen as being close to Russia and its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said, on Tuesday, that “this war will for a long time require our support, our ability to defend, our readiness to bear the burden."
Steinmeier said that he was ready to visit Kiev alongside his colleagues from Poland and the Baltic states, but Ukraine had told him his trip was "not wanted".
"I was prepared to do this, but apparently, and I must take note of this, this was not wanted in Kiev," he said.
At a briefing in Warsaw, Steinmeier added that it is clear that "a return to normality with Russia under Putin is impossible."
Furthermore, he called for an investigation into "Russian war crimes in Ukraine" and the prosecution of those responsible.