Ukraine sacks its envoys to India, Germany, three other countries
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired Kyiv's ambassadors to India, Germany, Norway, the Czech Republic, and Hungary on Saturday. However, no reason for the move was given immediately. It was also unknown whether the envoys would be given new responsibilities. As Ukraine attempts to repel Russia's invasion—which began on February 24—Zelenskyy has instructed his diplomats to amass international support and military assistance for Ukraine.
- The development reportedly indicates Zelenskyy's unhappiness towards his envoys to these countries amid the war, especially India and Germany, which have tried to maintain relations with both Russia and Ukraine.
- The Russia-Ukraine war has resulted in the deaths of thousands, the displacement of millions, and the destruction of multiple cities, with the curtailment of food and energy exports around the globe, triggering worldwide inflation.
Ukraine's relations with Germany—Europe's largest economy that's highly dependent on Russian energy supplies—have been particularly sensitive. Andriy Melnyk—Kyiv's now-sacked Germany ambassador—is popular among Berlin's politicians and diplomats. He's known for his fiery social media exchanges and has labeled those against militarizing Ukraine as "appeasers." He even termed German Chancellor Olaf Scholz an "offended liver sausage" when Scholz didn't immediately accept Zelenskyy's invitation to Kyiv.
The two countries are currently at loggerheads over the maintenance of a German-made turbine in Canada. Germany urged Ottawa to hand over the turbine to Russian natural gas giant Gazprom so that it can pump gas to Europe. However, Ukraine wanted Canada to retain the turbine, claiming that shipping it to Russia would violate sanctions imposed on Moscow.
During the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting, Ukraine on Saturday stated a critical juncture in its conflict with Russia was approaching and also persuaded its allies to provide more arms to halt Russia's military offensive in Donbas. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier said sanctions on Russia for the invasion risked causing "catastrophic" energy price rises, signaling the Kremlin wasn't in the mood for compromise.
At the aforementioned G20 meet in Indonesia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also clashed with his Western counterparts over the invasion of Ukraine. The Western nations also pleaded with Russia to permit Ukraine to export its grain to an increasingly hungry world.