February 1, 2023

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German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigns amid backlash from the Ukraine war

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht officially submitted her resignation on Monday.

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German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht tendered her resignation on Monday, amid scrutiny of Berlin’s response to the war in Ukraine.

“Today I asked the chancellor to be relieved of the position of defense minister,” Lambrecht said in a statement, according to a CNBC translation.

Her stepping down comes as Germany considers whether to agree to increase military support to Ukraine in order to help the armed forces in Kyiv prevail against the Russian offensive.

“The media’s focus for months on a personal subject hardly allows for objective reports and discussions about soldiers, the armed forces and the course of security policy for the benefit of German citizens,” Lambrecht said.

“The valuable work of the soldiers and the many passionate people in the industry should be at the fore. So I decided to open my position,” she added. “I thank everyone who is involved in our security every day and I sincerely wish them all the best for the future.”

Lambrecht, a senior lawmaker in German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, has faced constant pressure about her credibility to lead the country’s armed forces.

Several media outlets reported over the weekend that Lambrecht’s resignation could be imminent, after a series of gaffes.

It is not yet clear who will succeed Lambrecht as defense minister.

A government spokesman said Germany’s Schulz had accepted Lambrecht’s resignation as defense minister, according to Reuters, with a proposal to replace him soon.

Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported, citing government sources, that Lambrecht’s successor will be announced on Tuesday. Reuters reported that among the possible contenders are the German Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Hugel, Defense Minister Simtje Mueller, SPD Chairman Lars Klingbeil and Labor Minister Hubertus Hill.

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