German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that it was “irritating” that Germany’s president, President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was rejected for a visit to Ukraine.
On Tuesday, Steinmeier, a long-time proponent of reconciliation with Russia, said Kyiv did not want him to visit.
However, a Ukrainian official has denied that President Volodymyr Zelensky had refused a visit from Steinmeier.
“The president would have liked to go to Ukraine and would have visited the president,” Scholz told RBB public radio.
“It would have been good to receive him. I don’t want to comment further. It is a little irritating, to be polite about it.”
Steinmeier said on Tuesday that he had planned to visit Kyiv with his counterparts from Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia “to send a strong signal of European solidarity with Ukraine … (but) that was not wanted in Kyiv.”
Serhiy Leshchenko, an adviser to Zelensky’s chief of staff, denied in an interview with CNN that Zelensky had rejected the visit.
Germany’s mass-selling Bild newspaper reported that Zelenskiy had rejected Steinmeier’s plans to visit due to his close relations with Russia in recent years and his years of support for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline that would have doubled the flow of Russian gas.
Germany has since suspended the project.