German Navy Commander Kay-Achim Schönbach announced his resignation on Saturday night after being criticized at home for comments on rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Schönbach said in a statement in India on Friday that Ukraine would never recapture Russia’s merged Crimean Peninsula in 2014, a recent critique of Western leaders against Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also publicly questioned the comments.
“It’s easy and probably worth it to give him the respect he wants,” the Navy Commander said on January 21, Moscow wanted a military invasion of Ukraine as part of the “absurdity.” He said he was.
“Does Russia really want small and small strips of Ukrainian soil to be integrated into their country? No, this is nonsense,” he said. “Putin is probably putting pressure on it because it can, and he divides the EU’s opinion.”
Schoenbach said in the January 22 case that Western nations should instead appeal to Russia to “oppose China.” In dealings with other countries, he said, the Chinese government has a “hidden agenda” that acts as if it were an enemy.
Germany rejected the ammunition demands of Eastern European countries, but Western countries, including the United States, supplied Ukraine with weapons. Meanwhile, Russia denied planning an invasion of Ukraine, Putin made frequent western demands over Russia’s security, and warned that Ukraine could not join NATO.
On Saturday evening, Schönbach said he had resigned from what he said as his own “unexpected remark” about geopolitical hotspots. In a statement, the German Navy accepted his resignation and stated that he had appointed a new interim Navy chief.
In a statement received by Reuters, Schönbach said, “I urged Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to be immediately released from my mission.” “The minister accepted my request,” he added.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry called on Germany over the weekend to decline Schönbach’s comments on the Crimea, saying the statement goes against efforts to contain Russia’s aggression.
“Ukraine is grateful for the support it has already provided since 2014 and its diplomatic efforts to resolve the armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. However, Germany’s current statement is disappointing and with its support. It is against the effort, “Ukraine Foreign Minister Domitro Kleba wrote on Twitter. “German partners must stop damaging unity with such words and actions and encourage (Russian President) Vladimir Putin to launch a new attack on Ukraine,” Kreva added. ..
Reuters contributed to this report.