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Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky fires ambassadors of 5 countries, including India and Germany

There was no specific reason for removing any of the ambassadors from their respective posts. It is unclear if the ambassadors would get new positions upon returning to Ukraine.

ON July 9 (local time), Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed ambassadors to five nations, including India, Germany, the Czech Republic, Norway, and Hungary. He added new candidates were being readied to take up the positions.

During his address to the nation, Zelensky said, “Today, I signed decrees on the dismissal of some ambassadors of Ukraine. This rotation is a normal part of diplomatic practice. New representatives of Ukraine will be appointed to the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Norway, and India. Candidates are being prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” There was no specific reason for removing any of the ambassadors from their respective posts. It is unclear if the ambassadors would get new positions upon returning to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s former ambassador to India was ‘dissatisfied with India’

In February this year, a day after Russia announced military action against Ukraine, Igor Polikha, now-former ambassador to India, expressed dissatisfaction with India’s reaction. India had said it was closely monitoring the situation. Notably, there were over 20,000 Indians, especially students, stuck in war-hit Ukraine.

He had said, “I am following all the reports from the side of your ministry and the latest advisory to your citizens in Ukraine was just not to go out, not to go to Kyiv, and the statement of your Minister of External Affairs was that India is closely following the development of events. We are deeply dissatisfied with their positions. What does it mean? Closely following or more closely? Now, 10-15 people are killed. When hundreds of thousands are killed, what will happen? We are waiting, we are asking, we are pleading for the strong voice of India.”

Police had urged India to convince Russia’s President Putin to stop the attack suggesting there were only a few leaders, including India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whom he might listen to.

Speaking to the Hindu, Polikha said he was not surprised or disappointed as he was expecting his unusually long tenure in India to end. He said, “After seven years as ambassador of any country, it is normal to return home. I am a career diplomat. I will return whenever the official process is completed.”

Controversies around now-former Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany

Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, has also served for a long time. He was appointed in late 2014 and is well known for his outspoken nature during interviews and on social media. In recent times, he had branded intellectuals and politicians opposing arms being sent to Ukraine as appeasers.

Last week, he stirred a major controversy by defending Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist leader, and Nazi collaborator. Bandera was killed in 1959. Melnyk said, “Bandera was not a mass murderer of Jews and Poles,” and argued there was evidence of accusations against him. His remarks sparked controversy not only in Germany but also in other nations, including Poland and Israel.

Following the controversy, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry distanced itself from the remarks by Melnyk and said, “the opinion that the ambassador. Melnyk expressed in an interview with a German journalist is of his own and does not reflect the position of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.”

Furthermore, there is an ongoing tension between Ukraine and Germany over a German-made turbine that belongs to Russia. It is currently undergoing maintenance in Canada, and Germany wants Canada to return it to Russia. On the contrary, Ukraine is pursuing Canada not to fulfill the demand by Germany as sending turbine to Russia would be against the sanctions imposed on Moscow. However, Canada made it clear on July 9 that it would send the turbine back to Russia.

It is notable that the turbine is for extracting natural gas from Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom. The broken turbine has caused a production drop of 40% in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline that is used to pump gas to Germany.

Russia-Ukraine war

On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military action against Ukraine. It has been over five months since the war started. There were over 20,000 Indians stuck in Ukraine who were rescued by the Government of India. While Russia is currently facing Sanctions from western countries, India has kept its stand neutral and called for peace between the two countries.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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