Top commander of German Navy resigns after suggesting Putin is worthy of ‘respect’

One of Germany’s top navy chiefs has resigned after saying Crimea would not come back to Ukraine, a statement that comes in contrast with the policies of Germany and NATO, the BBC reports

“Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach said he asked the German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve him of his duties ‘effective immediately.’ His resignation on Saturday came at the time of extreme tension between Russia and the West over recent buildup of Russian troops on the Ukrainian border,” another report stated.

The comments

The controversial comments were shared online on Friday, and immediately went viral, given the controversial nature of the statement.

“Does Russia really wants a small tiny strip of Ukraine soil? Or integrate in the country, no this is nonsense..Putin is probably puting pressure, cz he knows he can do it & it splits the EU..but what he really wants is high level respect,” he said.

The statement came just days after Germany had blocked shipments of weapons from other countries that were destined for Ukraine, in an effort to bolster its defenses ahead of a potential Russian invasion.

The fallout

“I have just asked the Federal Minister of Defense to relieve me of my duties and responsibilities as Inspector of the Navy, effective immediately,” the naval commanders’ letter read.

“My ill-considered statements on security and military policy made in India are increasingly weighing on my office. In order to avoid further damage to the German Navy, the Bundeswehr, but above all to the Federal Republic of Germany, I consider this step necessary,” he added.

“Mr Schoenbach’s resignation comes after the first portion of a $200 million (£145 million) US security package for Ukraine arrived and the country faces the threat of invasion by at least 100,000 Russian troops at its borders,” the Daily Mail reported.

The growing tensions have also led the U.S. State Department to evacuate some U.S. Embassy staff, as well as a call for Americans to evacuate Ukraine while commercial flights are still available.

Many analysts and experts believe Russia is likely to act soon, whether other nations approve or not.

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