Berlin believed that Ukraine would last only "a few hours" after the Russian invasion. Therefore, German politicians opposed the supply of weapons to Kyiv and the disconnection of Russia from the SWIFT system, Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andriy Melnyk told the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
According to him, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner was one of those who believed in Russia’s quick victory. Melnyk said that, at one of the meetings, Lindner was sitting next to him with "such a polite smile" and spoke as if the defeat of the Ukrainians had long been a foregone conclusion.
"You have only a few hours," the German minister told the ambassador and expressed readiness to talk about Russian-occupied Ukraine with the Russia-installed government.
"It was the worst conversation of my life," Melnyk said.
The newspaper notes that the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany is often criticized for being too outspoken and many German politicians openly dislike him.
Thus, Nikolaus Kramer, the chairman of the Alternative for German parliamentary faction, in response to Melnyk's request to send 20 million euros for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which his party received from the Russian gas giant Gazprom, advised him to go to the combat zone.
"I advise him to defend his country with weapons at home and not to irritate everyone with these stupid conversations from his Berlin office. Then he may even be useful, because diplomacy is clearly not his strong skill," the German newspaper Nordkurier quoted Kramer as saying.
Earlier, the American magazine Politico published an article titled “Putin's useful German idiots ", criticizing the German political elite for close ties with Putin. Journalists reproached German politicians for insincerity. Merkel's soft approach to Russia, which reached its climax in 2015 when it was decided to give the green light to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, despite Russia's annexation of Crimea and Russia's role in the Donbas, did not just open the door for Putin to go further, but actually encouraged him to make a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.