KIEV (Reuters) – President Volodymyr Zelensky sacked Ukraine’s ambassador to Britain on Friday, days after the envoy publicly criticized Vadym Prystaiko.
A presidential order, which said Prystaiko had also been removed from the post of Ukraine’s representative to the International Maritime Organization, gave no reason for the dismissal.
In an interview with Sky News last week, Pristiko was asked about the remarks of the outgoing British Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, in which he suggested that Kiev show more gratitude for handing over weapons from its allies to fight the Russian occupation forces.
Zelensky responded by saying that Ukraine had always been grateful to Britain, a staunch ally. He was also quoted by British media as saying that Wallace could tell him how to express his gratitude or how “we can get up in the morning and express our gratitude to the minister”.
Asked if Zelensky was being sarcastic, Prystaiko told Sky there was “a bit of irony” when the president said “he would wake up every morning and call Ben Wallace to thank him”.
“I don’t think this cynicism is healthy,” he said, adding that the Russians “should know that we work together.”
Zelensky’s order did not say who would replace Prystaiko, 53, an experienced diplomat and former deputy prime minister who held the post as ambassador to Britain for three years.
(Reporting by Anna Proshnica and the Kiev newsroom; Editing by Timothy Heritage)
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