Will never recover Crimea: German Navy chief resigns over Ukraine remarks in Indiatext_fields
A diplomatic row over controversial remarks made on the Ukraine-Russia conflict during a speech at a think tank in Delhi have prompted German Navy Chief Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach to hand in his resignation with immediate effect. The Navy Chief was quoted as saying that Ukraine would never get back annexed regions of Crimea and that Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved "respect".
"My rash remarks in India... are increasingly putting a strain on my office… I consider this step (the resignation) necessary to avert further damage to the German navy, the German forces, and, in particular, the Federal Republic of Germany," Vice-Admiral Schönbach's resignation letter was quoted as saying by Reuters. The German government has distanced itself from his remarks.
The issue comes during a sensitive period where Russian and Western nations are attempting to resolve a border conflict precipitated by Russian troops massing on Ukraine's eastern border.
During his speech in Delhi, Schönbach had contended that what Vladimir Putin really wanted was respect and recognition and that it was no real burden to give him what he "probably deserved". In addition to this, the Navy chief said the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, was irrecoverable which contradicts the stand of Western-allied countries like Germany who have refused to recognise Russian occupation of Ukraine.
"The Crimea peninsula is gone, it will never come back, this is a fact," Schönbach was quoted as saying though he also acknowledged the need to confront Russia about some of its actions.
"Germany's current statements are disappointing and run counter to that support and effort," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said separately in tweet, while adding that Ukraine appreciated Germany's support in other areas.
America has condemned what it claims is a new attempt to invade Ukraine even as Moscow has rubbished claims of military incursion. The American government on Saturday accused the Russian government of attempting to install a Pro-Kremlin Leader in Ukrain by overthrowing the democratically elected government in the country.
British intelligence alleged that Russia was in contact with four expelled Ukranian politicians who were now living in Russia, namely Serhiy Arbuzov, Mykola Azarov, Andriy Kluyev and Volodymyr Sivkovych. However the Russian Foreign Ministry has rejected the claims.
"Disinformation circulated by @FCDOGovUK is yet another indication that it is the @NATO Members led by the Anglo-Saxon nations who are escalating tensions around #Ukraine," the ministry said in a tweet.