German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was utterly humiliated by her Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in a joint press conference on Monday. Baerbock had traveled to war-ravaged Ukraine on her fourth visit since Russia's invasion. She engaged the Zelensky government in high level talks, at one point announcing 20 million euros more in humanitarian aid (Berlin has now provided 380 million euros this year).
But naturally the Ukrainian side pressed her on supplying more advanced weapons, in particular the Swedish-German produced long-range Taurus cruise missile. That's when Kubela lashed out at Germany's top diplomat in a deeply embarrassing moment for Berlin...
Kuleba wipes his feet on Annalena Baerbock. When asked if she gave him any hope that Germany will supply Ukraine with Taurus missiles:— Olga Bazova (@OlgaBazova) September 11, 2023
"No, she didn't go beyond the official position of the German government... but you'll do it anyway, it's just a matter of time"
Things took a turn at the joint presser when a journalist asked about the difficulties of the counteroffensive along the southern front, and posed whether Kubela thinks Kiev's Western backers should supply weapons like the Taurus "quicker and faster"....
Kubela then explained he had pressed the German delegation for Taurus deliveries as soon as possible, but that Baerbock left him no "hope" in these meetings. He then in a smug and patronizing tone looked toward her and said:
"No, she didn't go beyond the official position of the German government... but you'll do it anyway, it's just a matter of time."
"You will do it anyway, its just a matter of time, and I don't understand why we are wasting time," Kuleba said in response to a question at a press conference.
Kubula then described that more and more Ukrainian lives have been lost due to Western delays in weapons approval and deliveries. The suggestion was that it's Berlin's fault (and that of other slow to play along allies).
Online commentators were quick to point out how "embarrassing" and "pathetic" the moment was for the German side. Others pointed out the "arrogance" on display by Kubela, given also she made the lengthy, dangerous trip into Kiev to announce new humanitarian aid. Such "gifts" weren't enough.
One regional commentator had this to say in response to the clip: "So here we have a US protectorate (Germany) being publicly mocked by a US proxy (Ukraine). One of the pitfalls of military alignment — the interests of the alliance as defined by the alliance leader is always supreme."
The UK and other Kiev backers have previously charged (typically behind closed doors) that Zelensky is generally being 'ungrateful'...
Perhaps the Ukrainian side didn't like that Baerbock had pointed to deeply rooted corruption among the country's leadership. Reuters had cited that she earlier in the meetings said "Ukraine's place was in the European Union" but then "urged it do more to fight corruption" if it hopes to be let in.
Increasingly, both the Biden administration as well as staunch supporters like Poland have vented occasional frustration at Zelensky and his officials being "ungrateful".