Ukraine envoy in Berlin shuns solidarity concert with Russians

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Ukraine envoy in Berlin shuns solidarity concert with Russians

Ukraine's ambassador to Germany did not take part in a concert in solidarity with Ukraine organized by his host government on Sunday because no Ukrainian soloists were billed to play, reported dpa.

"Only Russian soloists, no Ukrainians," Andriy Melnyk tweeted, along with what appeared to be a screenshot of the invitation. "An affront. Sorry, I'm staying away."

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier opened the Berliner Philharmonkier concert via videolink, having caught the coronavirus.

According to Steinmeier's office, musicians from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus and Germany, among others, were to perform pieces by Ukrainian, Russian and Polish composers.

The line-up included Russian pianist Evgeny Kissin and the Russian baritone Rodion Pogossov. According to the orchestra, chief conductor Kirill Petrenko had to cancel at short notice due to illness.

Steinmeier said the participation of artists from different countries was "an affirmation of freedom and peace."

"Your stance against this criminal war is a question of humanity, not of nationality," he said, according to an official transcript of his opening address. "We must not permit [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s hatred to become a hatred dividing peoples and individuals, and it must not be allowed to divide our society either."

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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