German Navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach has resigned from his post after controversial remarks on the crisis in Ukraine, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday (January 22nd).

The vice-admiral, who had among other things described as inept the idea that Russia wanted to invade Ukraine, will leave his post "with immediate effect", the spokesman told AFP. 

What Vladimir Putin wants, “is to be respected”, declared this soldier according to a video circulating on the Internet, filmed during a meeting of a think tank which was held Friday in New Delhi.

"It's easy to give him the respect he wants, and probably deserves as well," he added.

The idea that Russia wants to invade part of Ukraine would be, according to him, "a nonsense".

He also felt that the Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, had "gone, and would not return" to Ukraine.

German ambassador summoned to Ukraine

This senior officer had made his mea culpa in the afternoon, describing his statements as "reckless".

"There is no quibbling: it was clearly a fault," he wrote in a tweet.

But in a press release released in the evening, he explains that he submitted his resignation in order "to avoid additional damage to the German Navy and especially to the German Federal Republic".

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summoned German Ambassador Anka Feldhusen in the afternoon after these remarks deemed "absolutely unacceptable" by Kiev.

The vice-admiral's statements came in the midst of a Russian-Western crisis around Ukraine. 

02:19

Intense diplomatic efforts are currently being deployed on both sides to prevent the situation from degenerating, while tens of thousands of Russian soldiers are still massed on the Ukrainian border. 

With AFP

The summary of the

France 24 week invites you to come back to the news that marked the week

I subscribe

Take international news everywhere with you!

Download the France 24 app

google-play-badge_FR

Keywords: