On January 8, Yatsenyuk told the German TV channel ARD that "all of us clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany," accusing Russia of rewriting the history of the World War II.
"The Ukrainian prime minister, like any other politician, citizen or athlete has an opportunity to tell the German media whatever he considers appropriate. We believe it is an expression of freedom of opinion. The questions on the interpretation of the statements should be addressed not to the federal government, but to those who made them," the ministry's spokesperson Martin Schaefer told reporters, after he was asked to comment on Yatsenyuk's earlier remarks.
"Nazi Germany during World War II led a terrible war of aggression against the Soviet Union. It is still impossible to forget the crimes and the damage that this war has inflicted under the auspices of Germany, causing untold suffering to countless Russian, Ukrainian and other people of the Soviet Union," the spokesperson said.
Earlier on Sunday, the Ukrainian prime minister explained his words about the Soviet Union in an interview with German Deutsche Welle newspaper, saying that Russia decided to "occupy" Crimea and southeastern Ukraine. Yatsenyuk added that no country had a right to occupy the territory of an independent state like the Soviet Union did after the World War II.
Yatsenyuk's interview with ARD TV raised a wave of outrage among Russian politicians. Following his offensive remarks on the Soviet Union, Moscow has requested Berlin to clarify its position on the matter.