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Ukrainian envoy to Olaf Scholz: Grow up!

BERLIN — Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, hit out Tuesday at German Chancellor Olaf Scholz over his criticism of Ukraine.

“This is about the most brutal war of extermination since the Nazi invasion of Ukraine, it is not a kindergarten,” Melnyk said, according to German press agency DPA, in reaction to remarks Scholz made during an interview Monday evening.

In the interview, Scholz said Ukraine’s decision last month not to welcome German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier “stands in the way” of him traveling to Kyiv.

That was not an acceptable way to treat the president of “a country that provides so much military assistance, so much financial assistance, that is needed when it comes to the security guarantees that are important for Ukraine in the future,” Scholz said.

But Melnyk dismissed Scholz’s reasoning. “It doesn’t sound very statesmanlike to behave like an offended liver sausage,” he responded, using a German slang term — beleidigte Leberwurst — for someone who gets offended easily or cannot take a joke.

Melnyk, who became Kyiv’s ambassador to Germany in 2015, has been one of the German government’s most outspoken critics since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The ambassador is a polarizing figure: To some Germans he is a welcome thorn in the flesh of a government they perceive as inert; while others have criticized his frequent attacks on Berlin as undiplomatic and unhelpful.

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