According to the ambassador, he met with members of the German government on the day of the Russian attack and the ministers reacted differently. Thus, Vice-Chancellor, Economics Minister Robert Habek was genuinely worried, “devastated” and remorseful that he had allowed his party to suppress him when he advocated providing weapons to Ukraine.
At the same time, according to Melnyk, Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht “first of all cared about her public image,” and Lindner “sat with a polite smile and spoke as if the defeat of the Ukrainians was a foregone conclusion.”
“You only have a few hours. It is pointless to supply weapons or disconnect Russia from SWIFT,” the German FAZ minister was quoted as saying.
Instead, according to Melnyk, Lindner wanted to discuss what he believed was the future of Ukraine: a Russian-occupied country with a puppet government.
The ambassador also told Der Spiegel magazine about this conversation in early March. According to him, he had a feeling that Lindner “looks more at the balance than at our suffering,” as perhaps the Minister of Finance should, Melnik said.
“Then I ended the conversation. I rarely cry, but after talking with Christian Lindner, tears just flowed down my face,” the ambassador said.
Probably, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmitry Kuleba spoke about this episode on March 16 in an interview with NV.
“On the first day of the war, February 24, the Ukrainian ambassador to a very influential European state was sitting in the office of the state secretary of a ministry and saying: “Help us, the war has begun. Help with this and that.” He smiled sympathetically in his face and replied: “My dear, let’s be frank. Why would you help if everything will be over in 48 hours and a new reality will come?” This is a specific episode that took place in an extremely influential EU country,” Kuleba said.
According to him, foreign partners realized that they needed to fight for Ukraine only three days after the start of the Russian invasion, but now many countries want to be involved in the victory of Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the war in 2014, Germany has provided financial assistance to Ukraine, helped to treat Ukrainian soldiers wounded in the Donbass, but categorically refused to provide weapons. In 2021, Berlin blocked arms supplies to Ukraine through NATO when the US warned of a possible new Russian invasion.
For Germany, the eastern part of Europe is a special part of the world, German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen said, explaining Berlin’s reluctance to provide weapons to Kiev. “We were all brought up with the idea that German soldiers, German weapons will never be here. This idea is like in the DNA of the Germans,” she said in June 2021.
After the change of government, Germany’s position regarding the supply of defense weapons to Ukraine has not changed, they said at the beginning of 2022 at the German Foreign Ministry.
At the end of January, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said that official Germany refuses to help Ukraine with weapons due to the fact that it is dependent on Russia.
Days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Germany agreed for the first time to provide lethal weapons to the Ukrainian authorities.
On March 9, Kuleba turned to the German authorities, stating that the assistance provided and the sanctions imposed were not enough. “It may seem to you that you have already accomplished a feat by making a number of important decisions. But while people are dying in European Ukraine, you have done too little,” he said.