Berlin (Germany) | Jagran News Desk: German Navy chief Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach on Saturday night resigned from his position following his "Putin deserves respect" remark that had triggered a controversy both at home and abroad.
"I have asked Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect," Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said in a statement. "The minister has accepted my request."
Speaking at an event in India, Vice Admiral Schoenbach on Friday had said that Ukraine would not be able to regain the Crimean Peninsula that was annexed by Russia in 2014 and suggested that President Vladimir Putin deserved "respect".
"What he (Putin) really wants is respect," he had said. "And my God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost... It is easy to give him the respect he really demands - and probably also deserves."
However, Vice Admiral Schoenbach's remarks had triggered a controversy, especially in Ukraine, summoned the German ambassador to complain. Later, the Vice Admiral had apologised for his remarks.
"My rash remarks in India ... are increasingly putting a strain on my office," he said. "I consider this step (the resignation) necessary to avert further damage to the German navy, the German forces, and, in particular, the Federal Republic of Germany."
Joe Biden discusses situation with national security team
As the tensions continue between Ukraine and Russia, United States (US) President Joe Biden on Saturday held a high-level meeting with his national security team, including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, to discuss the situation in the region, the White House said.
His meeting comes a day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Geneva.
"Today President Biden met with his national security team in person and virtually at Camp David to discuss continued Russian aggressive actions toward Ukraine," the White House said in a statement.
"President Biden was briefed on the current state of Russian military operations on Ukraine's borders and discussed both our ongoing efforts to de-escalate the situation with diplomacy and our range of deterrence measures that are being coordinated closely with our Allies and partners, including ongoing deliveries of security assistance to Ukraine."
"President Biden again affirmed that should Russia further invade Ukraine, the United States will impose swift and severe consequences on Russia with our Allies and partners," it added.
This meeting is important as the US State Department recently ordered families of personnel of the US Embassy in Kiev to begin evacuation from Ukraine. Reports suggest that the US will soon also recommend its citizens to leave Ukraine next week.
The US and other western nations have accused Russia of allegedly deploying troops near the Ukrainian border in preparation for "aggressive action."
However, Russia has repeatedly denied these accusations, pointing to NATO's military activity near the Russian borders, which it deems a threat to its national security. It has also affirmed that it has the right to move forces within its own territory.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma