German navy chief resigns over Ukraine comments

German navy chief resigns over Ukraine comments
Kay-Achim Schönbach (R) said President Putin wanted respect. Source: BUNDESWEHR
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Daily US Times: The head of the German navy has resigned over controversial comments he made over Ukraine.

Kay-Achim Schönbach said the idea that Russia wanted to invade Ukraine was nonsense. He added that all President Putin wanted was respect.

A number of countries have supplied weapons to Ukraine, including the US and UK. But Germany has refused Ukraine’s request for ammunition.

Russia has denied claims that it is intending to invade Ukraine.

But President Vladimir Putin has issued demands to the West which he says concern Russia’s security, including that Ukraine be stopped from joining the military defence alliance Nato.

He also wants Nato to abandon military exercises and stop sending weapons to eastern Europe, seeing this as a direct threat to Russia’s security.

Meanwhile the UK has accused Mr Putin of plotting to install a pro-Moscow figure to lead Ukraine’s government.

Mr Schönbach said on Saturday that he had resigned from his role “with immediate effect” in order to “avert further damage”.

He made the comments while speaking at a think-tank discussion in India on Friday and the video was later published to social media.

In the video, Mr Schönbach said Putin needed to be treated as an equal by the west.

“It is easy to give him the respect he really demands – and also probably deserves,” he said.

He added that the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, “is gone and will never come back”.

Ukraine’s foreign ministry had described Mr Schönbach’s comments as “categorically unacceptable”.

The head of Nato has warned there is a real risk of a fresh conflict in Europe after an estimated 100,000 Russian troops amassed on the border.

You may read: UK warns of plot to install pro-Moscow ally in Ukraine