In the midst of a cabinet reshuffle, on 9 July 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed several of his ambassadors. In particular, he recalled those posted in Hungary, Norway, the Czech Republic, India and especially his representative in Berlin, Andreij Melnyk.

The latter could become Deputy Foreign Minister; however, his opinions and actions have given rise to much controversy.

Melnyk is a disciple of Stepan Bandera (“our hero”) whom he celebrates at every possible opportunity and whose role in the massacres during World War II he vehemently denies. Furthermore, he has claimed that the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) was not involved in the killing of Jews, which elicited a scathing response from Israel, in addition to downplaying the massacre of Poles, thus provoking an equally scathing response from Poland. Melnyk also accused German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier of working for Russia, which sparked outrage from the entire German political class. Finally, he never ceased to denounce the lack of enthusiasm displayed by Germany, France and Italy for delivering to Ukraine the weapons they promised.

As for his actions, Melnyk failed to prevent Siemen’s restoration of a Russian turbine, which enables Gazprom to transit its gas to Europe. Melnyk also failed to unlock Germany’s $9 billion financial aid package, being withheld by Finance Minister Christian Lindner in retaliation for Ukraine’s humongous debt in the context of Brussels’ Pan-European debt collection procedure.