After Ukraine scandal: Kujat criticizes dealing with Schönbach

Status: 01/23/2022 1:56 p.m

The former inspector general of the Bundeswehr, Kujat, has criticized the handling of the “Schönbach case”. He would have stood behind the vice admiral, he said in an interview tagesschau24.

The former inspector general of the Bundeswehr, Harald Kujat, has criticized the handling of the criticized and now resigned navy chief Kay-Achim Schönbach. In an interview with tagesschau24 Kujat said: “If I were still in office, I would have stood in front of Admiral Schönbach and I would have tried to prevent his dismissal – by all means.”

Kujat doubted that Schönbach’s statements were misconduct. “He would have committed a disciplinary offense if he had violated the Soldiers’ Act and seriously damaged the reputation of the Bundeswehr or the respect and trust that his official position requires.” He doesn’t see that, said Kujat.

“Come to a détente with Russia”

The criticism of Schönbach’s formulations is understandable, especially in a “heated-up situation”. In essence, however, it reflected the American position and thus that of Germany’s “closest ally”.

Referring to the currently tense situation, Kujat said: “It must be in our interest to come to a reasonable conclusion, to de-escalate and also to come to a détente with Russia, and of course always taking into account the security interests of Ukraine. That’s right perfectly clear.” It cannot be “that we always only talk about war and not about how a war can be prevented”.

“The question remains whether Schönbach committed a misdemeanor,” Harald Kujat, former inspector general of the Bundeswehr

tagesschau24 12:00 p.m., 23.1.2022

Criticism of statements about Ukraine

At an event in India, Schönbach said, among other things: “The Crimean peninsula is gone, it will not come back.” He described the invasion of the Ukraine by Russian troops feared by western states as “nonsense”. What Russian President Vladimir Putin really wants is “respect on an equal footing,” said the vice admiral.

The statements had provoked sharp criticism, including in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summoned the German ambassador in Kiev, Anka Feldhusen, to deal with the matter. The Ministry of Defense has distanced itself from his statements.

Schönbach finally asked for his resignation. He is now to be temporarily replaced by Rear Admiral Jan Christian Kaack.

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