14:13 22 Jan 2022

Ukraine demands public refutation of statement by German Navy commander on Crimea

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has described the remarks by German Navy Commander Kay-Achim Schönbach that Ukraine has lost temporarily occupied Crimea as categorically unacceptable and demanded that they be publicly refuted.

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said this in a comment to Ukrinform.

"The Crimean peninsula can be lost only in the imagination of the German vice admiral. Crimea will certainly return [to Ukraine] thanks to the persistent efforts of Ukraine and its partners who will show their determination in countering the aggressor state. In this regard, we need clarification from the German government on how the words of the Navy commander correlate with Germany's consistent support the Crimea Platform," Nikolenko said.

He added that the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry was "especially surprised to hear Mr. Schönbach's sentiments about the need to resume dialogue with Russia." In this context, Nikolenko stressed that this statement comes at a time when the number of victims of Russian aggression has already exceeded 14,000, more than 100,000 Russian troops had been deployed along the Ukrainian border, people continue to die from Russian bullets in the Donbas, and Crimea has become a human rights ghetto.

Nikolenko also drew attention to the fact that in Germany, Russian special services are destroying political opponents, conducting disinformation campaigns and trying to interfere in the country's internal affairs.

"Even an attempt by the German Navy commander to understand Putin must have its moral, political and security limits. In this case, these limits have been grossly violated. We demand that the German government publicly refute statements by the Navy commander, which undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and undermine efforts to de-escalate the security situation in Europe," Nikolenko said.

Schönbach said at a conference of the Indian Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses that Ukraine had lost Crimea and that the peninsula would never return to Ukraine. He also believes that Russia is an important country with which it is necessary to maintain dialogue.


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