BERLIN, May 4./TASS/. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier pledged further assistance to Ukraine from Germany and said he was ready to hold talks with Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelensky.
"We, the Germans, support Ukraine with all our heart," DPA news agency quoted the president as saying after talks with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Steinmeier said he expressed support for Kiev during trips to other countries, including to Romania. "And of course, also during an exchange of opinions with my Ukrainian counterpart, it this is possible," the German president stressed.
Earlier on Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that he saw the mid-April refusal of the Ukrainian authorities to host Steinmeier as the problem that was preventing his own trip to Kiev. Scholz noted that the Ukrainian side should make its contribution to settle this situation, including through talks with the German president. He said, however, that he remained in constant touch with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
On May 2, Scholz explained on ZDF why he was refusing to visit Kiev now, saying it was the Ukrainian authorities’ snubbing the German president in April. After that, Ukrainian Ambassador to Germany Andrey Melnik described Scholz as an ‘offended liverwurst’, according to DPA. In mid-April, the newspaper Bild reported that Zelensky had refused to receive Steinmeier, saying that in the past the German president had been excessively soft towards Russia. In Germany, politicians from various parties lambasted the decision of President Zelensky. In particular, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck called it a diplomatic mistake. Steinmeier himself confirmed that Kiev did not want him to come in the near future without giving details. After that, according to DPA, Steinmeier made several failed attempts to contact Zelensky over the phone.