The Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Melnyk has described the justifications given by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) for blocking Ukraine’s NATO accession as “absurd” and her behavior as a historic mistake. “The excuses made by the former Chancellor for her categorical rejection of Ukraine’s NATO membership in 2008 are absurd,” Melnyk told the Tagesspiegel.

This blocking attitude is “one of the most serious cardinal errors of the ex-Chancellor, which would have to be dealt with,” stressed Melnyk.

At the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest, Merkel explained in detail her blockade of early NATO accession in the Berliner Ensemble on Tuesday. At that time it was about the Membership Action Plan, the preliminary stage of membership. Merkel said that Ukraine was not democratically consolidated at the time. It was a country ruled by oligarchs with a lot of corruption.

The USA, in particular, had put pressure on Ukraine and Georgia to give them accession prospects as soon as possible. Merkel also referred to the fact that Russia had reacted sharply as a second reason for her behavior. “I knew that Putin would do something that would not be good for Ukraine,” Merkel said.

Melnyk sharply rejects Merkel’s arguments. The picture that Angela Merkel has drawn of Ukraine as a “country ruled by oligarchs and not democratically stable” is completely wrong and exaggerated.

“Especially after the Orange Revolution and the mass protests on the Maidan in 2004 against the election fraud, Ukrainians proved to the whole world that they are ready to fundamentally reform their homeland and also to destroy the influence of oligarchs,” stressed Melnyk. “The decision by NATO in Bucharest in 2008, which failed because of Ms. Merkel, to initiate a Membership Action Plan for Ukraine – out of misrespect for Russia, would undoubtedly have massively advanced democratic reforms.”