Germany and Ukraine became a diplomatic spat after videotapes The head of the German navy said that Russia only “wants to be respected” and that Ukraine will never take back Crimea.
Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach’s comment, made at a think tank in India, drew a angry reaction from Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who said they were part of a pattern of unhelpful behavior by German officials.
“Ukraine is very grateful to Germany for the support it has provided since 2014, as well as for its diplomatic efforts to resolve the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Saturday. “But Germany’s current statements are disappointing and go against that support and efforts.”
Item coincides with a frenzied diplomatic dynamics to prevent Russia from invading Ukraine.
Russia has amassed more than 106,000 troops close to its border with Ukraine in recent weeks, and Vladimir Putin has vowed an unspecified “military-technical response” if the West rejects his security demands.
These included a call for Nato to remove all that was forced from Bulgaria, Romania and other former communist states in Eastern Europe that joined the union after 1997 – a move the alliance deemed unwarranted. Acceptable.
The tension over Schönbach’s forgery comes just weeks after Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov criticized Germany in a Financial Times interview for blocking arms supplies to Ukraine.
Reznikov said Berlin had vetoed Ukraine’s purchase of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems through Nato Procurement and Support. Germany has since been satisfied with the first item, after deeming it non-lethal.
Ukraine is also very critical of Germany’s support of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will bring Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Ukraine. Critics say it would weaken Kyiv and also tighten the Kremlin’s grip on European energy markets.
Schönbach’s video shows him saying Putin should be treated as an equal by the West, and treating Russia as an “old country. . . and the important country “that the West needs” against China.
“What he [Putin] really want is respect,” he said. “And by God, giving someone respect is low cost, even inexpensive. . . it’s easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably deserves. ”
Schönbach also said that “Crimea Peninsula is gone, it will never come back, this is a fact”. That contrasts with the official western line that annexation of Crimea is illegal and needs to be reversed.
The German Defense Ministry said Schönbach’s comments “do not in any way correspond to the ministry’s position, in terms of content or choice of words”, adding that Schönbach would “have the opportunity to make a statement”. informed the Inspector General” about the Bundeswehr.
Schönbach tweeted that his remarks “reflect my personal views on fact at the time. . . [and] in no way corresponds to the official position of the Bundeswehr. ”
He later more that the comments were “thoughtless, misjudged the situation, I shouldn’t have done that. Undeniably, that was clearly a mistake.”
Additional reporting by Roman Olearchyk in Kyiv