According to AFP news agency, Schoenbach called the accusations of Russia intending to attack Ukraine “absurd” and that Russian President Vladimir Putin also deserves respect.
Speaking at a conference in New Delhi (India) on January 21, he commented: “It is easy to give Putin the respect he wants, and perhaps it deserves it.”
German Navy Commander Kay-Achim Schoenbach
Besides, he said that the Crimean peninsula that Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 is lost and will no longer belong to Ukraine.
However, on January 22, he wrote on Twitter that: “My defense policy statement during a discussion at an organization in India reflects my personal opinion at the time and does not reflect official position of the Ministry of Defense”.
He later said he had submitted his resignation to “avoid causing further damage to the German Navy and the Federal Republic of Germany”.
In a related development, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba summoned the German Ambassador to Kiev to protest against Schoenbach’s “unacceptable” statements.