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As if hosting a World War II 'victory' march wasn't ironic enough, Germany decided to add to the mix by prohibiting the public display of Ukrainian flags during the remembrance.
In Berlin, there are no Ukrainian flags
Residents in Germany have been told not to bring Ukrainian or Russian flags into the country to avoid "provocations" and "escalation."
On the 77th anniversary of World War II's end, Berlin officials told Fox News that they did not want their European neighbors' turmoil to affect their country's politics.
"Against the backdrop of Russia's current campaign of aggression in Ukraine, the act of remembering as well as respect for memorials and monuments must be preserved," Berlin police said. "The battle in Berlin must not spill over into conflicts or debates outside of democratic discourse."
In the aftermath of Russia's barbaric invasion of Ukraine, Germany has tried to be tough on Russia. However, it is also true that the EU, particularly Germany, has been receiving gas and oil from Russia through opaque channels all along.
Germany is being tough on Ukraine.
Given Germany's outspoken condemnation of Russia's aggression on Ukraine over the last two months, the exclusion of Russian flags from the ceremony seems justified.
Ukraine strongly opposes the decision
However, the decision to prohibit Ukrainian flags is astonishing! The Ukrainian envoy to Berlin was so taken aback that he stopped short of outright denouncing the decision.
The prohibition has been described as a "slap in the face" by Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk. "We are horrified that on May 8 and 9, the Berlin police prohibited the carrying of Ukrainian-related flags," Melnyk remarked. The ambassador said, "This is a slap in the face to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people."
The diplomatic impasse between Germany and Ukraine continues
It should be recalled that Berlin and Kyiv recently engaged in a diplomatic spat over Ukraine's treatment of German President Angela Merkel. Ukraine recently turned down German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's request to visit the war-torn country with his Polish and Baltic counterparts.
According to TFI Global, while dissing Steinmeier, Ukrainian President Zelensky claimed that his presence "obviously... wasn't wanted in Kyiv." In Berlin, this was bound to cause a sandstorm.
Kyiv was condemned by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for insulting German President Angela Merkel. "The president wanted to go to Ukraine," he said, adding, "therefore it would have been excellent to receive him." "It is, in any case, quite irritating, to put it kindly," Scholz said, plainly enraged.
"It can't work that from a country that provides so much military assistance, so much financial assistance that is needed when it comes to the security guarantees that are vital for Ukraine in the future, but then you say the President can't come," Scholz said in a more enraged comment.
Remember that Germany imports 50 billion cubic meters of Russian gas. This accounts for 55% of the country's total gas supplies. As a result, Germany is the greatest volume importer of Russian gas, and its economy is precariously reliant on such imports.
Any disruption in Russian gas supplies, according to German businesses and entrepreneurs, would severely impede their expansion. Furthermore, German economic analysts warn that if Russian gas supplies are cut off, Germany's economy will enter a serious slump, with the country losing $238 billion in GDP over the next two years.
Despite this, Germany has taken a firm position against Russia and has supplied military and financial support to Ukraine. Berlin, on the other hand, appears to have decided that backing a spoilt president like Zelensky may not be worth endangering the German economy. That explains Germany's latest diplomatic blunder with Ukraine.