German Defense Ministry Firmly Condemns Remarks By Navy Chief On Crimea

German Defense Ministry Firmly Condemns Remarks by Navy Chief on Crimea

BERLIN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 23rd January, 2022) The German Defense Ministry has harshly condemned the statements made earlier in the day by the head of the German navy, Vice Adm. Kay-Achim Schonbach, that Crimea will never return to Ukraine and that Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves respect.

Schonbach said at a conference hosted by India's Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses that Crimea will never again be part of Ukraine and called the West's claims that Moscow was preparing for an invasion nonsense. The commander also noted that Putin wanted respect from his Western partners and that it was not that hard to show it to him since he "probably deserves it."

"The statements in terms of content and choice of words in no way correspond to the position of the Federal Ministry of Defense," dpa quoted the ministry's statement.

Schonbach also took to Twitter to say that his statements were a mistake and that he misjudged the situation.

Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is open to dialogue with the West on the basis of mutual respect, and that it should not be blamed for the deterioration of relations.

Crimea became a part of Russia in a referendum held in March 2014 in which near 96% residents of Crimea voted for joining Russia. Kiev considers Crimea to be an Ukrainian territory illegally occupied by Russia. Moscow has insisted that the decision made by the Crimean people was made in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Crimean issue is "finally closed."