News

News

Wednesday
February, 8
More

    Germany’s defense minister resigns amid Ukraine criticism

    Featured in:

    BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s much-criticized defense minister announced her resignation Monday, as her department steers the massive project of modernizing the country’s military and oversees expanding weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

    Christine Lambrecht said in a written statement that she had submitted her resignation request to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, adding that “months of media focus on my person” had stood in the way of a factual debate about the military and Germany’s security policy.

    “The valuable work of the soldiers and many people in my department must stand in the foreground,” she said.

    A spokesperson for Scholz said the chancellor had accepted Lambrecht’s resignation.

    “The chancellor respects the decision by Ms. Lambrecht and thanks her for her good work in these difficult and challenging times,” Christiane Hoffmann told reporters in Berlin.

    ALSO READ: RUSSIA WARNS UK AGAINST SENDING CHALLENGER TANKS TO UKRAINE, SAYS WILL INTENSIFY CONFLICT

    She said a replacement would be announced “soon.”

    Hoffmann added that it was important to Scholz to ensure gender parity among ministers, but declined to comment on a possibility of a wider Cabinet reshuffle.

    The 57-year-old Lambrecht has been defense minister since Scholz became chancellor in December 2021. Critics have long portrayed her as out of her depth. But Scholz stood by her, describing her last month as “a first-class defense minister.” Pressure on her mounted recently after an ill-judged New Year’s video message.

    Lambrecht’s resignation comes at a sensitive moment, as Scholz faces mounting pressure to make another significant step forward in German military aid to Ukraine by agreeing to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks. Earlier this month, Germany agreed to provide 40 Marder armored personnel carriers and a Patriot air defense missile battery to Kyiv.

    Germany has given Ukraine substantial support in recent months, including howitzers, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and the first of four IRIS-T surface-to-air missile systems. But critics, some inside Germany’s governing coalition, have long complained of Scholz’s perceived hesitancy to step up aid. Lambrecht was overshadowed on the issue by the chancellor, who made most major announcements.

    ALSO READ: Ukraine war: How weapons makers are profiting from the conflict

    Lambrecht was then Finance Minister Scholz’s deputy before being appointed justice minister in 2019. She also was minister for families and women in the closing months of then Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.

    She was respected in those roles but was widely viewed as one of the Scholz government’s weakest links at the Defense Ministry.

    The notoriously unwieldy department has a history of diminishing ministers’ reputations.

    Its importance increased with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That prompted Scholz to announce a special 100 billion-euro ($108 billion) fund to upgrade the German military, the Bundeswehr, which has suffered for years from neglect and in particular from aging, poorly functioning equipment.

    Last month, Lambrecht dismissed suggestions that the government had been too slow to get going on its spending drive. She said officials have moved fast but that “such projects must be carefully negotiated — this is tax money.”

    The minister also drew criticism for hapless communication, starting with a January 2022 announcement that Germany would deliver 5,000 military helmets to Ukraine as “a very clear signal that we stand by your side.”

    In April, she took her 21-year-old son along on a military helicopter flight, which became public when he posted a photo to Instagram that it turned out the minister had taken herself. Her ministry said she had applied for permission and paid the costs herself, but critics said it showed poor judgment.

    An amateurish New Year’s video message on her own private Instagram account prompted new opposition calls for Lambrecht’s departure and strained political allies’ patience.

    It showed a barely audible Lambrecht speaking against a backdrop of loud New Year’s Eve fireworks in a Berlin street.

    “A war is raging in the middle of Europe,” she said. “And connected with that for me were a lot of special impressions that I was able to gain — many, many meetings with interesting, great people.”

    Find us on

    Latest articles

    - Advertisement - spot_imgspot_img

    Related articles

    Su-75 ‘Checkmate’: Russia Could Invite India To Join The...

    Rostec, a Russian state-owned enterprise with operations in a wide range of industries, including military hardware, has expressed its intention to invite India to develop the Su-75 Checkmate fifth-generation fighter jet, reported state-run TASS. 

    Spy Balloon Or Venus? When US Navy Tried Shooting...

    US Navy divers are currently trying to recover the remains of the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down off the coast of South Carolina.

    Catching Up With F-35, Russia’s Su-57 Fighters To Get...

    Russian air force fighters are set to get ‘smarter’ with the introduction of what appears to be an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled data linking and sensor fusion system that connects a pair of jets in a networked operation.

    Taiwan Is Deploying ‘Cheap’ Minelayers & Their Mines With...

    Many in Taiwan and their supporters in the strategic community in the United States seem to favor applying one lesson learned from the ongoing war in Ukraine against China to thwart its aggressive designs on the island nation. That makes the Chinese invasion very difficult and expensive by mining its warships in the Taiwan Strait.

    Shooting Down 6 PLAAF Fighter Jets, Meet US’ ‘Revolutionary’...

    A US Air Force F-22 Raptor popped a Chinese “spy balloon” on February 4 using an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, marking the first kill for the mighty Raptor. Interestingly, this wasn’t the first time the Sidewinder had destroyed a Chinese target.

    US Air Force Prepares For ‘Ultimate Clash’ With China’s...

    The US Air Force (USAF) has finally got its first fifth-generation aggressor pilot for the recently reactivated 65th Aggressor Squadron (AGRS) at Nellis Air Force Base (AFB), Nevada.