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Strains in German Coalition as Junior Partners Turn on Scholz Over Ukraine

By Paul Carrel
Apr 14, 2022
(Reuters) -Frustration is growing among German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s junior coalition partners over what they say are shortcomings in his leadership on Ukraine, an internal rift that risks undermining Western unity against Russia.
After a dramatic policy pivot at the start of the crisis, when Scholz halted the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia days before its invasion of Ukraine, and then vowed a big jump in defence spending, his partners accuse him of dithering.
“I have the impression that Mr Scholz is not aware of the serious damage he is doing to Germany’s reputation in Central Europe, in Eastern Europe, basically in the whole of Europe,” Anton Hofreiter, Greens chairman of parliament’s Europe committee, told Reuters.
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Germany irritated by Ukraine’s snub of a presidential visit

April 13, 2022

BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday criticized a diplomatic snub by Ukraine for his country’s president and defended Berlin’s record on delivering weapons to Kyiv amid tensions that have flared at a delicate moment in German policymaking on the war.
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s largely ceremonial head of state, had hoped to travel to Ukraine on Wednesday with his Polish and Baltic counterparts. But he said Tuesday that his presence “apparently … wasn’t wanted in Kyiv.” The German newspaper Bild quoted an unidentified Ukrainian diplomat as saying that Steinmeier was not welcome at the moment, pointing to his close relations with Russia in the past.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany later said the government would be glad to welcome Scholz — who, unlike Steinmeier, sets government policy. But the snub to Steinmeier may make that more difficult.
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