The statements caused outrage in Ukraine, which called the German ambassador to complain, and also provoked consternation and a quick rebuke from Berlin.
German naval chief resigned on Saturday night after coming under fire at home and abroad for comments he made about Ukraine and Russia.
Speaking at an event in India on Friday, Vice Admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said Ukraine will not reclaim the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014.
The military official also said it was important to have Russia on the same side against China, and suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin deserves “respect”.
His statements, captured on video, caused outrage in Ukraine, which called the German ambassador to complain and also provoked consternation and a quick rebuke from Berlin.
On Saturday night, Schoenbach resigned, saying he wanted to prevent further damage to Germany and its armed forces for his “unreflective statements”.
In a statement, the German navy indicated that Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht had accepted Schoenbach’s resignation and appointed her deputy as acting naval chief.
The German government has insisted that it sides with its NATO allies on the issue of Russia’s military threat to Ukraine, warning that Moscow will pay a heavy price if it launches any military action against that neighboring country.
But unlike many other Atlantic Alliance countries, Germany says it will not supply Ukraine with lethal weapons, arguing that it does not want to escalate tensions any further.
In recent months, Russia has been concentrating troops along the border with Ukraine – there are already around 100,000 soldiers – and has also carried out military maneuvers there.
source; with agencies