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German defense minister steps down amid mounting criticism

German defense minister steps down amid mounting criticism

Baku, January 16, AZERTAC

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigned on Monday following a series of fiascos and sharp policy turns that increased pressure on the government, Anadolu Agency reports.

Lambrecht told the German press agency DPA that she has offered her resignation to Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“The months-long media focus on myself hardly allows for factual reporting and debate anymore about the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) and security policy decisions,” she said in her statement.

"The valuable work of the soldiers and the many people in my department must be in the foreground. That's why I decided to make my office available,” she added.

Lambrecht was widely criticized by the opposition parties for failing to show leadership, neglecting the severe problems of the armed forces, and for being slow with weapons deliveries for Ukraine.

The Social Democrat politician came under heavy criticism earlier this month after she posted a New Year's speech on social media, which was filmed during celebrations in Berlin.

"There’s a war raging in the middle of Europe,” she said, while fireworks in the background made it hard to hear her words.

But she continued her speech saying the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war led to “many encounters with great and interesting people” and she was able to gain “many special impressions.”

German opposition politicians and defense experts called the video an “embarrassment,” urging the defense minister to step down.

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