Former German Bundeswehr Chief Inspector Against Schonbach's Dismissal Over Crimea Remarks

© AP Photo / Gero BreloerGerman National flag. (File)
German National flag. (File) - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.01.2022
BERLIN (Sputnik) - Former Inspector General of the German Bundeswehr Harald Kujat said on Sunday that he saw no grounds for a disciplinary action against the head of the German Navy, Vice Adm. Kay-Achim Schonbach, who had stepped down over his remarks about Crimea, and that he was against the resignation.
On Saturday, German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht accepted Schonbach's request for resignation. It came a day after Schonbach said that Crimea will never come back to Ukraine and called the West's accusations of Moscow allegedly planning to invade Ukraine "nonsense." The resigned navy commander acknowledged on Twitter his remarks were a mistake following backlash from the public and Kiev.
"He [Schonbach] said that Crimea is lost for Ukraine. Ukraine can retake Crimea only by military means, that is, in a war against Russia. Does anyone want it? US President Joe Biden has ruled out going to war if Russia attacks Ukraine. Russia should not be afraid that it will come to a nuclear war with the United States over Crimea. This is absolutely ridiculous. He just described the American position," Kujat said in an interview with the ARD.
German Flag - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.01.2022
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The retired general also saw no issue with Schonbach's remark that Moscow wants to be treated with respect and as an equal by the West, noting that it was exactly what Washington was doing, given that it needed Russia to keep its strongest adversary, China, in check.
There are no grounds for disciplinary action against Schonbach since he did not violate the military law or damage the Bundeswehr's reputation, according to the former inspector general.
"If I was still serving, I would have stood up for Admiral Schonbach and tried to do everything to prevent his resignation, by any means," Kujat added.
At the same time, he urged all sides to avoid provocative statements in the future and focus on de-escalating tensions, while keeping Ukraine's interests in mind. Kujat also condemned statements made by Ukrainian ambassador to Berlin, who compared Germany's refusal to sell lethal weapons to Kiev with the treatment of Ukrainians by Nazi Germany, calling them "disgusting."
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