German defense minister Christine Lambrecht has resigned from her position amid increasing pressure on Germany to send Leopard tanks to Ukraine or approve their transfer by other countries operating the same type.
Lambrecht officially resigned on January 16, asking the federal chancellor Olaf Scholz to be dismissed from the office.
While the defense minister is going out amid speculation on whether or not, Germany would supply Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, Lambrecht’s move also comes after a widely-criticized New Year’s Eve address in which she referred to the situation in Ukraine and the ongoing Russian invasion as an “exciting professional experience” with fireworks going off in Berlin in the background.
“It is a painful step for me because I exercised this responsible office with full conviction and all my strength. I have always been deeply impressed by your valuable service,” Lambrecht said in an address to German armed forces members.
“It was the many conversations I had with you, on assignments, at exercises and at the locations, that motivated me anew every day. Every day they are fully committed to the safety of the people in our country. They serve the community. My aim has always been to change things in and with the Bundeswehr for the better.”
Unfortunately, I can no longer live up to this claim. The month-long focus on my person superimposes our common mission: the security of our country. And it has meant that the tasks we face at the turn of the century no longer prevail. These responsibilities and your valuable service must come first.”
While it is yet unclear who will be succeed Lambrecht in the role, Scholz said he had “a clear idea and everyone will know very quickly how this should continue.”
The chancellor is expected to name a successor on Tuesday.