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Ambassador Melnyk polarized with "tough but fair" – "Sometimes you have to be loud"

Created: 09/07/2022 04:46 am

„Hart aber fair“ mit Frank Plasberg am 5. September.
“Hard but fair” with Frank Plasberg on September 5th. © Screenshot ARD/Das Erste

“Hart aber fair” on ARD is emotional. Not everyone understands the style of outgoing Ukrainian Ambassador Melnyk, he admits.

Cologne – In his program “Hart aber fair” on September 5, 2022 on ARD, Frank Plasberg asked what the state of German solidarity was with Ukraine. “The closer winter approaches, the higher energy costs rise, the more one’s own existential worries come to the fore, and the louder the calls for the sanctions against Russia to be lifted.” That is the thesis he discusses with his guests wanted to discuss. Present were Anna Lehmann, head of the parliamentary office of the daily newspaper taz , Sabine Fischer, expert on Russian foreign and security policy at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, Ralf Stegner, SPD member of the Bundestag, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, FDP foreign politician, and the acting ambassador of Ukraine in Germany Andriy Melnyk.

It was a show that was quite loud and emotional. There was disagreement and some eye rolling. Ambassador Melnyk was the one who particularly caught the eye with his attitude. He will remain in office until mid-October, after which he will return to his homeland after seven years. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Melnyk has become a key political figure when it comes to relations between Ukraine and Germany. He verbally held Germany accountable, not always diplomatically, and in particular demanded military aid for Ukraine. “Hart aber fair” on ARD showed why Melnyk polarized in public.

“Hard but fair” (ARD): Ukraine ambassador Melnyk with allegations against Germany

“It’s a moral question,” he said, referring to whether Germany should continue to support Ukraine, even if the consequences of doing so are hitting its own citizens hard. “One could get the impression that the Germans could say tomorrow that they don’t care about the fate of Ukraine,” he said. He couldn’t understand that. Nor why the federal government is able to pass a relief package of 65 billion, but only wants to help Ukraine with a hundredth of the amount. “The Balts and Poles help ten times more than Germany and the USA anyway,” he added. Here Anna Lehmann joined Frank Plasberg on ARD and replied that not only the delivery of weapons should be regarded as support. Germany plays an important role in organizing solidarity for Ukraine.

Hard but fair in the first The guests of the program from September 5, 2022
Andriy Melnyk Ambassador of Ukraine in Germany
Sabine Fischer Expert on Russian foreign and security policy at the Science and Politics Foundation
Ralph Stegner SPD, member of the Bundestag
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff FDP, foreign politician; Deputy Group Chairman
Anna Lehman Head of the parliamentary office of the daily newspaper “taz”

Those present discussed how much a military solution was the only one that could still work, with different conclusions. While Alexander Graf Lambsdorff agreed with Sabine Fischer and Melnyk that any diplomatic efforts had failed at the current time, Ralf Stegner stuck to negotiation options. Stegner was on shaky ground all evening on “Hart aber fair” on ARD, and then received a rather harsh, mocking remark from Melnyk: “Mr. Stegner, go to Moscow yourself and talk to Putin”.

“hard but fair” (ARD) with Frank Plasberg: Germans also have existential fears

Melnyk reacted similarly when moderator Frank Plasberg quoted from a letter that a German craftsmen’s association had sent to Olaf Scholz and in which he was actually asked to withdraw from the war in order to minimize the consequences for his own country again. “They don’t understand,” exclaimed Melnyk. And indirectly agreed with the statement of the Ukrainian foreign minister, which was shown in “Hard but fair” in the ARD and read: “In Ukraine, people care about their lives, in your country you care about their comfort.” Here resisted Stegner himself violently. Germans also have existential fears. And above all, Lehmann threw in that she didn’t find Melnyk’s attitude to be expedient: “You don’t achieve anything if you want to teach,” she said. “Solidarity is a feeling that comes from the heart”, one cannot demand that.

To the broadcast

“Hard but fair” (ARD). The broadcast from Monday, September 5, 2022 in the ARD media library.

Melnyk then admitted that his style “is not always understood”. Even at home he had to explain some of himself, he remarked and concluded confidently: “Sometimes you have to raise your voice to be heard”. It is debatable whether this is actually the right way to secure solidarity. (Teresa Vena)

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