Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky on Saturday dismissed Kyiv’s ambassador to India, Germany, Norway, Czech Republic and Hungary, according to the presidential website.
However, no reason was immediately given for the move. It was also not immediately known if the ambassadors would be handed new responsibilities.
Zelensky has urged his diplomats to cobble up international support and military aid for Ukraine as it tries to fend off Russia’s February 24 invasion.
Ukraine’s ties with Germany have been shaky especially over a German-made turbine undergoing maintenance in Canada. Germany – Europe’s biggest economy that is heavily dependent on Russian energy supplies – wants Ottawa to return the turbine to Russian natural gas giant, Gazprom, to pump gas to Europe.
Kyiv, on the other hand, has requested Canada to keep the turbine, saying that shipping it to Russia would be a violation of international sanctions imposed on Moscow.
Meanwhile, at a G20 meeting earlier on Saturday, Ukraine said that a crucial turn is approaching in its conflict with Russia, while also urging its allies to provide more weapons in a bid to stop Russia’s military offensive in Donbas.
Signalling that the Kremlin was in no mood for compromise, President Vladimir Putin said sanctions against Russia for the invasion it launched in February risked causing “catastrophic” energy price rises.
His top diplomat, Sergei Lavrov, clashed with his Western counterparts at a G20 meeting in Indonesia, where they urged Russia to allow Ukraine to ship its blockaded grain out to an increasingly hungry world.
(With Reuters Inputs)