Zelenskyy: Several candidates being considered for Ukrainian ambassador to UK

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has revealed that Kyiv is currently considering several candidates for the position of Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, but he did not give their names.

Source: Zelenskyy at a press conference with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Kyiv on 12 January, as reported by European Pravda

Quote: “It is important that each of the officials, the diplomats who handle our relations with the UK, are at the highest level. Therefore, we are considering several candidates. We are considering them very carefully. So that we don’t lose everything.”

Details: Zelenskyy did not name the candidates.

Background:

  • Vadym Prystaiko, Ukraine’s previous ambassador to the UK, held the position from July 2020 until July 2023. He was dismissed in July 2023 for commenting on remarks made by President Zelenskyy amid a scandal about Ukraine’s alleged “ingratitude” to its allies that erupted around then UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace.

  • In response to Wallace’s remarks, Zelenskyy said that Ukraine is very grateful to the UK and its people for their support. But he also added: “We can wake up in the morning and thank the minister personally.” Prystaiko, commenting on this discussion, described Zelenskyy’s remarks as “unhealthy sarcasm“.

  • Prystaiko later gave an explanation in which he did not distance himself from the criticism but softened it, saying that “sarcasm is not needed between friendly countries”.

  • In a recent interview, Prystaiko said Kyiv could not afford to “experiment” with the UK, warning against “creativity” in appointing his successor.

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