Steinmeier Warns Germany Facing Difficult Times Following Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany, Andrij Melnyk, described the solidarity concert with his country by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra organized this Sunday by the federal president, Frank Walter Steinmeier, under the motto “For peace and freedom”. » at Bellevue Palace. Melnyk’s refusal to accept his invitation to the event has caused the astonishment of the president and the German authorities for rejecting what should be a gesture of friendship and brotherhood. «Only Russian and not Ukrainian soloists. an affront I’m sorry but I will not attend », the representative of kyiv in Berlin wrote this Sunday on Twitter to justify his absence. When a spokeswoman for the German presidency expressed her disappointment at the ambassador’s refusal to attend the meeting, Melnyk further replied that “we Ukrainians are not in the mood for ‘great Russian culture’.” The spokeswoman had explained that the concert was intended to “issue a signal in favor of Ukraine, a signal for all those people who are in favor of peace and against war.”
From Steinmeier’s office it was stressed that Ukrainian musicians were also performing at the concert and he regretted not “being able to send that signal together” with Melnyk. German media highlighted that the Ukrainian ambassador to this country had already announced last Tuesday that he would not attend the concert due to scheduling problems. The federal president therefore invited him to a personal meeting, an invitation to which he has not yet responded. Melnyk has repeatedly criticized the German government for its indecisiveness and delay in sending military aid to Ukraine to deal with the Russian invasion. The ambassador was not the only one absent from the concert. Steinmeier himself, in quarantine due to a covid-19 infection, was not present in person, although he did give a speech via videoconference. Also the director of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Russian Kirill Petrenko apologized for illness. In his place, the Japanese Nodoka Okisawa directed the concert.
The German presidency stressed that among the participating musicians were masters from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Germany, including the Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, who performed several of his own works on the piano. Steinmeier’s spokeswoman stressed that Silvestrov “has had to flee his country at the ripe old age of 84 and has found refuge in Berlin.” The Russian pianist Jewgeni Kissin and the Russian baritone Rodio Pogossov also performed alongside him, all critical of the war unleashed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Berlin Philharmonic and invited musicians performed works by Ukrainian, Russian and Polish composers, including Frédéric Chopin, Dmitri Shostakovich and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
In his speech prior to the concert, Steinmeier wanted to prepare the German people for difficult times in the face of Russia’s offensive war against Ukraine and stressed that the sanctions imposed against the Moscow regime will also have negative consequences for this country. “Hard times are ahead for us in Germany as well,” said the German president, who stressed that “we must be prepared to endure them if we do not express our solidarity with a small mouth and want to be taken seriously.”
What is happening in Ukraine will change the world and Germany “perhaps much faster than we consider possible”, assured the German president, who warned that “our solidarity and our support, our firmness, but also our readiness to sacrifice. Steinmeier recalled that when he was re-elected to office on February 13, he warned Putin not to underestimate the strength of democracy, something that, in his opinion, fell on deaf ears. He «he has underestimated the strength, courage and love for the freedom of the Ukrainian men and women, as well as the unity and determination of our alliances, of the European Union and NATO».
Vladimir Putin, NATO, European Union (EU), European Union, Germany, Berlin, kyiv, Moscow, Russia, Ukraine, War in Ukraine
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