The Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk called on the two SPD politicians to follow up their visit with action. The former ambassador in Berlin told the German Press Agency that he hopes that Klingbeil will recognize the need to persuade the federal government to make further bold decisions, especially releasing fighter jets. It is important that the SPD leadership finally sees the horrors of Russian aggression with their own eyes. Whether this will mean that Mr. Mützenich will no longer put the brakes on German arms deliveries remains very questionable, but Melnyk added.
The SPD is in a difficult position in Ukraine because of its Russia policy before the invasion. It is accused of misjudging Russian President Vladimir Putin and relying too heavily on cooperation with Russia. Both Klingbeil and Mützenich have openly admitted to mistakes. In December, the SPD wants to redefine its foreign policy and thus also its attitude towards Russia at a party conference.
In addition, Mützenich has repeatedly been offended in Ukraine because of his reluctance to deliver arms and because of his promotion of diplomacy. In January, Melnyk called him Russia’s most valuable asset in blocking aid to Ukraine.
In July 2022, the Center Against Disinformation of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine put Mutzenich on a list of 70 international figures accused of spreading Russian narratives. Mützenich then accused the Ukrainian government of putting him on a terror list, which led to secondary threats. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry rejected this.