Defense Minister Lambrecht “damages our country’s reputation”

Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) triggered massive criticism with a video at the turn of the year. In the message recorded on New Year’s Eve and published on Instagram, Lambrecht speaks exclusively of her impressions and encounters in connection with the war in Ukraine.

“A war is raging in the middle of Europe. There were a lot of special impressions that I was able to gain from this. Many, many encounters with interesting and great people.” Ukraine is not mentioned in the video. While the minister is speaking, rockets and firecrackers can be heard in the background.

In view of the “unbelievable suffering in Ukraine” and for a holder of command and command authority, he considers the video “inappropriate”, said the CDU member of the Bundestag Roderich Kiesewetter the daily mirror. “It strengthens the distrust and the loss of trust that is unfortunately taking hold in Germany in Europe and internationally.”

The CDU politician Serap Güler urged Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) to dismiss the defense minister: “Every additional minute that the Chancellor still holds on to this minister and thus further damages the reputation of our country is on his account,” wrote Güler on twitter.

A spokeswoman for the federal government did not want to comment on Lambrecht’s video on Monday. Lambrecht has been criticized for a long time, but Scholz defended her in December and described her in an interview with the “Süddeutsche Zeitung” as a “first-class defense minister”.

Even the SPD has no backing

There is also irritation within the coalition over the video. “The New Year’s video in question is a matter for the minister and her communications staff,” said FDP defense expert Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann to the Tagesspiegel. “I personally find the setting a bit unfortunate. I don’t want to say more about it.” Voices defending Lambrecht against the criticism could not be heard on Monday, even from her own party.

The minister’s communications staff was apparently not involved in the creation of the video. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said on Monday that it was a privately recorded video that was created without “official resources”.

Lambrecht has two accounts on Instagram, one of which she describes as her “official” account. The minister writes about the others that she is “private here”, but regularly deals with official issues there. On New Year’s Eve, she published the video on this account, in which she also thanks the German soldiers.

At the same time, Kiesewetter referred to the important challenges that Lambrecht must now tackle. “The BMVg, as an extended arm of the Chancellery, has so far lacked the political will to really implement the turning point in security policy and to support Ukraine with what it really needs.” It would therefore be important “through forward-looking and proactive action” to gain the trust of Win back allies and partners. “That’s what the minister should focus on.”

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