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Al-Ahed Telegram

German Defense Minister Steps Down

German Defense Minister Steps Down
folder_openGermany access_time2 months ago
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By Staff, Agencies

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned following a series of missteps and days of speculation over her future.

The move is considered a blow to Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government as it weighs crucial decisions over arming Ukraine.

Lambrecht asked Scholz to relieve her of her position in the cabinet, according to an emailed statement on Monday. She blamed intense media reporting about her as a distraction to continue in office.

The departure of the 57-year-old hits close to home for Scholz. He had picked his fellow Social Democrat as one of his deputies when he served as finance minister in Angela Merkel’s final term and had stood by her in recent weeks even as criticism mounted.

The process has been messy. Reports of her pending resignation surfaced on Friday. The government declined to comment, leaving the uncertainty hanging for days. 

The cabinet upheaval marks a major setback for the ruling coalition and risks disrupting decisions critical to the international effort to stand up against the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, Scholz’s administration faces mounting pressure to supply Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine after Poland and Finland said they wanted to send the German-made combat vehicles.

Following Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Germany abandoned its policy of not sending lethal weapons into combat zones but has wrestled with every step. The military operation has laid bare the poor state of the armed forces in Europe’s biggest economy, and Scholz’s government has created a special fund worth €100 billion [$108 billion] to try to reverse the decline in Germany’s military power.