German navy chief resigns after his remarks in New Delhi on Putin, Ukraine

Posted on January 23, 2022, 10:42 am
2 mins

Germany’s Navy Chief, who was on a visit to India over the last few days, has stepped down after his remarks at an event in Delhi elicited sharp response from the German government and Ukraine.

Speaking at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MPIDSA) on Friday, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach had stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted respect and that Crimea would never go back to Ukraine.

Russia had annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 amid global criticism.

Schönbach said “the Crimean Peninsula is gone. It’s never coming back. This is a fact.”

“Is Russia really interested in a small tiny strip of Ukraine soil to integrate into their country? No, this is nonsense. Putin is probably putting pressure because can do it and he knows, he split us, he splits the European Union. What he really wants is respect,” he said.

Schönbach underlined that he is a Roman Catholic, and believes “in God and I believe in Christianity and there we have a Christian country. Even Putin, he’s an atheist but it doesn’t matter. I think having this big country, even if it is not a democracy, on our side” is important as it will probably keep “Russia away from China”. He, however, criticised Russia for its actions in Chechnya.

Schönbach tendered his resignation late on Saturday. He said in a statement, “I have asked Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect,” the report mentioned, adding, “The minister has accepted my request.”

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