Steinmeier not welcome in Kyiv

On Wednesday evening, the heads of state of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland travelled to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and send a signal of solidarity. The evening before the meeting it was reported that German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier had been told he was not not welcome in Kyiv. Commentators can understand why.

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A clear message

Commenting on on, Oles Donij, chairman of the association "The Last Barricade", supports Zelensky's refusal to host Steinmeier:

“This is a very cool move by the Ukrainian government. Ukraine takes the liberty of 'turning up its nose' when it notices an unpleasant smell from Western politicians. And Steinmeier (like many German politicians) smells of Russia. ... Kyiv has now become a popular destination for European politicians. And Ukraine is showing what kind of behaviour by Western politicians it welcomes and what kind it doesn't.” (HR) /

He hesitated for too long

Telegram criticises that it took the German president too long to distance himself from Putin's Russia:

“Steinmeier, who during his political career advocated a rapprochement between Russia and the West, now says he misjudged Putin because he didn't believe the Russian president 'would accept the complete economic, political and moral ruin of his country in the name of his imperial madness'. He also admitted that he had been wrong to support Nordstream 2, the gas pipeline that would double Russian gas supplies to Germany. The project was only stopped in Berlin after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Zeit Online (DE) /

Social democrats have a duty to fulfil

Chancellor Olaf Scholz should now be firmly enough in the saddle to make the journey to Kyiv, Zeit Online insists:

“Preferably with more in his luggage than symbolic gestures. The FDP and Greens in the coalition have been pushing for the delivery of heavy weapons for several days. That choice is obviously up to the SPD, the party of the chancellor and the president. It has made so many mistakes in recent years and is partly responsible for the suffering in Ukraine, and now it must prove that practical solidarity with those under attack is more important to it than slights related to protocol.”