Ukraine deports visiting German MP

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The Left’s Soren Pellmann was turned away without an explanation

A German lawmaker who tried to visit Ukraine was detained by border police and sent back without explanation. Soren Pellmann of the Left Party said he was deported despite an intervention by the German embassy in Kiev.

Pellmann is one of the leading Left members of the Bundestag. He was on a fact-finding mission to Kiev when he was stopped at the Lviv train station and eventually ordered to leave the country, the party said on Tuesday.

“Ukraine refused me entry. I am horrified and angry,” Pellmann said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday evening, after he was deported. “The reasons for this are anyone’s guess, but it is probably my commitment to an immediate ceasefire, a peaceful solution and a halt to arms exports.

“It paints a frightening picture of basic rights such as freedom of expression when a candidate for EU membership denies entry to MPs from EU countries,” Pellmann added. “I wanted to see the situation in the country for myself. This has now been prevented.

“Apparently there is a list of public figures who have taken a critical stance and are no longer allowed to enter Ukraine,” the 47-year-old politician from Leipzig explained in a video message on X.

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According to the party, Pellmann was traveling with two assistants. They were taken off the train in Lviv and held for about two hours, before being sent back to Poland. The Ukrainian authorities did not offer any explanation for their deportation.

Pellmann told the outlet Die Welt that the purpose of his trip was to visit Leipzig’s twin city, Kiev, and speak directly with Ukrainian citizens. He denied any connections to Russia.

“I have always spoken out against arms deliveries. That is my right as a member of the Bundestag,” he told the newspaper.

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed to Die Welt that it was in “direct contact” with both Pellmann and the Ukrainian authorities. The German embassy in Kiev had tried to intercede on his behalf, but apparently to no effect.

Pellmann’s deportation comes as Ukraine is seeking more weapons, ammunition and equipment from NATO at the US-led bloc’s summit in Washington. Germany has been Ukraine’s leading donor in the EU, committing an estimated $34 billion to Kiev’s war effort. 

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