Sat. May 28th, 2022

Germany and Ukraine became embroiled in a diplomatic dispute after a video emerged from the head of the German navy who said Russia “just wants respect” and that Ukraine will never regain Crimea.

Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach’s remarks, made at a brainstorming session in India, have a angry reaction of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who said they were part of a pattern of unscrupulous behavior by German officials.

“Ukraine is 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 tweeted on Saturday. “But Germany’s current rulings are disappointing and run counter to that support and those efforts.”

The row coincides with a insane diplomatic impetus Russia to refrain from invading Ukraine.

Russia has amassed more than 106,000 troops near its border with Ukraine in recent weeks, and Vladimir Putin has promised an unspecified “military-technical response” if the West rejects its security demands.

This includes a call for NATO to remove all its coercion from Bulgaria, Romania and other former communist states in Eastern Europe that joined the alliance after 1997 – a move that the alliance considered unacceptable.

Tensions over Schönbach’s faux pas come just weeks after Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov criticized Germany in a Financial Times interview for blocking the supply of weapons to Ukraine.

Reznikov said Berlin had vetoed Ukraine’s purchase of anti-drone rifles and anti-sniper systems through the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. Germany has since dedicated to the first item, after it was considered non-lethal.

Ukraine was also highly critical of Germany’s support for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would bring Russian gas directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea and bypass Ukraine. His critics say it will weaken Kiev and also strengthen the Kremlin’s grip on European energy markets.

Schönbach’s video shows how he says Putin should be treated by the West as an equal, referring to Russia as an “old and important country” that the West needs “against China”.

“What he [Putin] really want is respect, ”he said. “And with God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. . . it’s easy to give him the respect he really demands – and probably deserves too. ”

Schönbach also said that the “Crimean peninsula is gone, it will never come back, that is a fact”. It is contrary to the official western line that the annexation of Crimea was illegal and should be reversed.

The German Ministry of Defense said that Schönbach’s remarks “do not in any way correspond to the ministry’s position, either in terms of content or in word choice”, adding that Schönbach “will have the opportunity to make a statement to the inspector -general ”of the Bundeswehr.

Schönbach tweeted that his remarks “reflect my personal opinion on the spot at that moment. . . [and] does not in any way correspond to the official position of the Bundeswehr. ”

He later added that the comment was “thoughtless, misjudged in the situation, I should not have done it. It cannot be denied, it was clearly a mistake. “

Additional reporting by Roman Olearchyk in Kiev

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