On Wednesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Ukraine to help mend ties between the two nations after Kyiv rejected a visit from German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
“It is a problem for the German government and for the German people that the president was asked not to come,” Scholz said. “Ukraine must also play its part.”
Earlier this week, Scholz said he wouldn’t visit Kyiv after Steinmeier was rejected, prompting Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany to say the chancellor was acting like an “offended liver sausage.”
Ukrainian officials had said Steinmeier wasn’t welcome in Ukraine due to his alleged close ties to Russia. Steinmeier was a proponent of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline that would connect Russia and Germany, which is enough for Ukraine to label him pro-Russian.
Scholz suspended the Nord Stream 2 pipeline when Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the breakaway republics of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, which came just before the Russian invasion.
While Scholz hasn’t visited Ukraine since Russia invaded, one of his political rivals made the trip this week in a move seen as a snub of the German leader. Friedrich Merz, the leader of Germany’s Christian Democrats, visited the Ukrainian city of Irpin on Tuesday.
Scholz has come under intense domestic pressure for his hesitance to send heavy arms into Ukraine, although his government has since pledged to provide Kyiv with Gepard anti-aircraft tanks. Responding to his critics, Scholz warned of the dangers of the risks of nuclear war.