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Current Affairs

German Navy Chief’s comments on Russia

Date: 25 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


Germany’s Navy chief resigned from his position following comments on Russia he made while on an official visit to India.



Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach was giving a lecture at an event organized by the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) in New Delhi.



  • The Chief said that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin deserved “respect” and the Crimean peninsula can never be back with Ukraine.

  • The comments created a diplomatic tension with Ukraine. It also comes at a dangerous and sensitive moment when Russia is involved in a standoff.

  • The negotiation between NATO and Russia has not yielded any results. US President has even predicted that Russia will move in and invade Ukraine.


Response by Navy Chief

  • After being asked to explain his comments, the chief said that the comments made were in his personal capacity and does not indicate the official position of his country.

  • Even after stating that the statement was a clear mistake, he submitted his resignation to the Defence Minister, which was immediately accepted.


The main issue

  • The main contentious comment that triggered angry response from Ukraine was his comments that said that Crimean Peninsula was gone and would never be reunited.

  • He also added that Russian president Putin had annexed Crimea to pressurize and split the European Union.

  • The chief said that president Putin wanted respect which would be low-cost, even no-cost and which he probably deserves.


Russia and Ukraine situation

  • Russia has stationed large number of troops along the border with Ukraine and an invasion looks possible.

  • There is a belief that Putin will seize the country and install a pro-Russia leader, who would abide by Russian demands.

  • Russia has demanded that eastward expansion of NATO has to be dropped. Developing military bases in former soviet countries and expanding cooperation has to be halted.


Indo-German ties

  • Germany considers India as an important partner in Indo-Pacific. India and Germany are trying to explore avenues to strengthen naval cooperation and enhance strategic engagement. 

  • Germany’s naval frigate Bayern is currently docked in Mumbai. The Naval chief also made visit to New Delhi to engage with civilian and military leaders.