Christine Lambrecht, German Defence Minister has resigned from Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s government, the climax of growing doubts about her capacity to resurrect Germany’s military forces in the face of the Ukraine crisis.
Scholz was struck a blow by her decision at a time when Germany is under pressure to authorize an increase in international military support for Kyiv, and Germany’s defense capabilities have been called into question after several Puma infantry tanks were disabled during a recent military drill.
The pressure to find a successor is also increasing because US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin is scheduled to visit Berlin on Thursday and will attend a conference on Friday at the US military base in Ramstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, to discuss additional support for Ukraine, including whether to send German-built battle tanks.
According to a representative for the Social Democratic (SPD)-led coalition government, Lambrecht urged Scholz to fire her, which he has granted.
Scholz commended Lambrecht for her service and promised to replace her quickly during a visit to the arms manufacturer Hensoldt. According to reports, a successor will be announced today.
Eva Hoegl, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Siemtje Moeller, SPD party president Lars Klingbeil, and Labour Minister Hubertus Heil are among the names floated by German media.
Scholz has promised to appoint an equal number of men and women to his cabinet. If a man succeeds Lambrecht, this might lead to more reshuffling.
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