After six months official Kyiv decided on the candidacy of Ukraine’s new ambassador in Berlin

After six months official Kyiv decided on the candidacy of Ukraine’s new ambassador in Berlin
Photo: Alexey Solodunov

The future Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany Andriy Melnyk is considered to be a man of the team of Premier Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Nonetheless, his work will directly depend on the results of personal contacts of President Petro Poroshenko and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Return to Germany

Deputy Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers Andriy Melnyk will be appointed the new Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine to Germany, several sources in the diplomatic corps informed Capital. Although Melnyk did not confirm this information, he did not deny it, saying that a corresponding decree of the president of Ukraine should be issued first.

Melnyk is 39 years old. He has the 5th rank of a civil servant and a diplomatic rank of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the first category. Melnyk served as the General Consul of Ukraine in Hamburg, Germany for several years. He was appointed deputy minister at the end of March. The position of the head of the Ukrainian embassy in Berlin has remained vacant since June, when Ambassador Pavlo Klimkin was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Valeriy Chaliy, who oversees foreign policy issues, could not be reached yesterday. However, earlier in an interview for Capital he predicted that the new ambassador to Germany would be appointed in December. A source of Capital in the Foreign Ministry on condition of anonymity said Melnyk is “a professional and a decent man”.

Another source in the diplomatic corps, describing personal qualities of Melnyk, pointed to his “excellent knowledge of the German language, high efficiency, intelligence and appeal”. “Oleksandr Shcherba could also have been considered for this position, but in November he was appointed the ambassador to Austria. So, Melnyk is a perfect candidate by all criteria. However, one should not expect from him a major breakthrough in relations with Germany. He is not that that type of a person. Meanwhile, it is unlikely that this will be demanded from him, seeing as President Poroshenko directly communicates with Merkel,” said the source.

He claims that Melnyk has “normal, business-like relations” with Foreign Minister Klimkin. He names Melnyk a person close to the former Minister of the Cabinet of Ministers, now MP Ostap Semerak (People’s Front). “Melnyk also has close relations with Yatsenyuk. By the way, Melnyk will be replaced as the deputy minister by Danylo Lubkivskiy, who is in the premier’s milieu,” he assures.

Noteworthy, at the moment Lubkivskiy is deputy to Minister Klimkin. However, he refused to comment on the possibility of his transfer to the secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers.

Work plan for the ambassador

German political analyst and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation Andreas Umland believes that the new Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin will be facing several serious challenges. “I believe it will be a mistake if Kyiv tries to repeat Putin’s tactic by starting an informational war. The ambassador will have to establish professional relations with the German mass media and explain the different nuances of the situation in Ukraine. He will not be able to avoid unpleasant questions about investigations into the killings on Maidan and the contradictory actions of Ukrainian oligarchs. But if he works with mass media honestly, the local journalists will neutralize Russian information attacks with their materials,” Umland told Capital.

The expert believes that communicating information to German investors who are weary of the situation in the east of Ukraine could be a separate task for the new ambassador. “Businessmen need to be calmed down and shown that war is being waged only in a small territory of the country, while investments into Ukraine’s economy are welcome,” noted Umland.

The new ambassador will also have to inform the German leadership about fulfillment of the provisions of the Association Agreement with the EU on the part of Ukraine.

As a reminder, German Chancellor Merkel is one of the most active and influential negotiators in settling relations between Ukraine and Russia. The unofficial status of Germany as the current leader of the European Union facilitates this.

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