Christine Lambrecht – who has received many “special impressions” from the Ukraine conflict – is reportedly ready to quit
German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht has decided to resign and will do so next week, SZ and Bild newspapers reported on Friday. The minister has already discussed the move with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two media outlets alleged, citing sources close to the politician.
According to Bild, Lambrecht made this decision of her own volition. Neither the government nor the defense minister has not officially commented on the reported move so far.
The reports follow a major scandal that saw opposition politicians and journalists calling for Lambrecht’s immediate dismissal. The uproar was sparked by her ill-fated New Year’s Eve address, in which she said that the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev had given her many “special impressions” and allowed her to meet many “interesting and great people.” Her speech was immediately lambasted as “embarrassing” and “inappropriate.”
The leaders of the biggest opposition bloc – the Union – then accused Scholz of making Lambrecht the defense minister to further weaken the German Armed Forces, which have been struggling with personnel shortages and equipment malfunctions for years.
Lambrecht’s tenure as a defense minister also saw another scandal involving Germany’s military equipment. In December, the nation said it would halt procuring modern domestically-produced Puma infantry fighting vehicles because of numerous malfunctions. Lambrecht then described the development as a “major setback.”
The minister also took a rather reserved stance on military aid for Kiev as she repeatedly warned that it depletes the stocks of the German Armed Forces – the Bundeswehr – and opposed supplying Ukraine with heavier weapons like Leopard 2 tanks, arguing that Berlin would never do that alone.
Scholz previously defended Lambrecht by describing her as a “first-class defense minister” in December.
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