Schönbach scandal: Blinken sees the United States and Europe united

As of: 01/23/2022 7:52 p.m

The Ukraine is deeply irritated after the scandal surrounding the resigned Marine Inspector Schönbach. Now US Secretary of State Blinken is trying to reassure him that the US and Europe are united.

After criticizing Germany’s behavior in the Ukraine crisis, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressly expressed his confidence in the federal government. The federal government very much shares the US government’s concerns and its determination to respond quickly, effectively and unitedly, Blinken said on NBC television. He sat with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and listened to him very carefully, Blinken said.

“German Arrogance and Megalomania”

Previously, the German naval inspector Kay-Achim Schönbach, who has since resigned, caused a scandal. He expressed understanding for Russia’s head of state Vladimir Putin. Massive criticism came from Ukraine. The Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, spoke of a “shambles”. That put “Germany’s international credibility and reliability in question – not only from a Ukrainian perspective – massively,” he told the “Welt”. Schönbach’s statements speak of “German arrogance and megalomania”.

The former inspector general of the Bundeswehr, Harald Kujat, however, criticized the handling of Schönbach. “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,” he says in an interview with tagesschau24. In essence, this reflected the US position – and thus that of its closest ally Germany.

How to proceed?

Diplomats have been trying to defuse the conflict for days. The US and its western allies are demanding a withdrawal of Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border. In return, Moscow is demanding security guarantees and an end to the eastward expansion of the western military alliance NATO, which Russia sees as a threat.

US Secretary of State Blinken confirmed in a CBS interview that Russia is also pursuing other tactics without sending troops to Ukraine. Regarding calls by Ukraine to take tougher action against Moscow, Blinken said: “As far as sanctions go, the most important thing we can do is use them as a deterrent, as a means to deter Russia from further aggression.”

EU foreign ministers speak to Blinken

The foreign ministers of the EU states want to discuss the latest developments in the conflict with Russia tomorrow with Blinken. According to the EU’s foreign service, the American politician will join a physical meeting of European ministers in Brussels via video conference. One of the topics of the deliberations will be how to deal with demands made by Russia that are considered unacceptable.

With information from Katrin Brandt, ARD Studio Washington

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