Whether the war in Ukraine can be ended in 2023 depends on military support from the West, says former ambassador Melnyk. That's why he wanted one thing above all from the Christ Child: Western weapons. There are still many taboos to be broken.
After the promise of Patriot anti-aircraft systems from the United States, the Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk is now demanding not only tanks but also Western fighter jets and warships for the fight against the Russian attackers. One is very grateful to the USA for the "new courageous steps", said Melnyk. "But one thing is clear: there are still a lot of taboos to be broken. We urgently need Western tanks, fighter jets, warships, multiple rocket launchers, ammunition. That's my only wish for Santa."
Otherwise, this war will drag on and bring even more suffering, death and devastation to Ukraine, said Melnyk. Whether the war can be ended in 2023 depends on the military and financial support of the allies. "We are dependent on Western arms supplies, they are crucial to the war."
The United States had promised to deliver Patriot systems to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj during his visit to Washington shortly before Christmas. On the other hand, Ukraine has not yet received any Western battle tanks, combat aircraft or warships. Melnyk pointed out that Russian President Vladimir Putin was committing his army and compatriots to a very long war and was mobilizing all available resources for it. "The Ukrainians are ready to fight for the liberation of their homeland, including Crimea, as long as we breathe. That's for sure, no matter what our partners do," emphasized the former Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin.
He clearly rejected negotiations with Russia. "All the Kremlin talk about Putin's alleged willingness to negotiate is pure bluff, which is mainly aimed at garnering sympathy in the West, unsettling societies - including in Germany - and crumbling the resolve of our allies. You shouldn't do that allow," said Melnyk.
At the moment there is no alternative but to provide massive military support to Ukraine in order to create a real chance for negotiations. Melnyk categorically ruled out that Ukraine would give up parts of its national territory. Neither the illegal annexation of Crimea nor the Russian appropriation of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Cherson or Zaporizhia regions in the east and south of the country will ever be recognized. "This is unacceptable for Kyiv. It will never happen."
In his new position as Deputy Foreign Minister, Melnyk will primarily take care of relations with the countries of North and Latin America. "My main task, which President Zelenskyy and Minister Kuleba have given me, will be to develop an ambitious strategy for Latin America, which is playing an increasingly important role on the world stage," said Melnyk. However, he will also be responsible for the USA, for international legal aspects of Ukrainian foreign policy and for Ukrainians abroad.
Melnyk was replaced in October after almost eight years as ambassador in Berlin by the government's former sanctions commissioner, Oleksii Makeiev. In mid-November he was appointed one of several deputies to Foreign Minister Kuleba. At first, however, it was not clear what area of responsibility he would take on. Last Thursday was his first official day as Deputy Foreign Minister.
The 47-year-old career diplomat became ambassador to Germany in January 2015 and made a name for himself with an unusually tough stance against the German government for a diplomat. In the period shortly before and after the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, he called for more support for his country on an almost daily basis and was sharply criticized for his undiplomatic manner.