Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach, the German Navy chief, has resigned following a dispute over remarks he made at a think tank in New Delhi about the situation in Ukraine, putting a pall over Berlin’s first attempt to portray its role in the Indo-Pacific.
Schönbach’s visit to India last week coincided with the German frigate Bayern’s port call in Mumbai, the first by a German warship in almost a decade. As part of Germany’s new Indo-Pacific policy, the warship was stationed in the region for seven months and sailed through the South China Sea.
Schönbach said he doesn’t believe Russia intends to occupy Ukraine during an interactive session on Friday at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), a government-backed think tank, and that all Russian President Vladimir Putin wants is respect, and that complying with this would be a “low-cost” option.
Schönbach further said that China is “giving money to dictators, to killers, to criminals” in order to obtain access to their countries’ natural resources, and that India and Germany need Russia to take on China.