The Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Forces (Navy) of Germany, Vice Admiral Kaya-Achim Schönbach, resigned after saying that Crimea would never return to Ukraine.

Iran Press/ Europe: German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht at an emergency meeting discussed Schönbach’s statement with Bundeswehr Inspector General Eberhard Zorn. They concluded that Schönbach should immediately publicly clarify his words.

Later, the Commander-in-Chief of the German Navy announced his intention to leave the post, Lambrecht and Zorn accepted his resignation.

I have just asked the federal secretary of defense to immediately relieve me of my tasks and duties as commander of the navy.

On January 22, Vice Admiral Kai-Ahim Shenbach, during a conference of the Indian Institute of Defense Studies Manohar Parrikara, assessed the likelihood of the return of Crimea to Ukraine.

"The Crimean peninsula is gone and will never return. It is a fact," he said.

Later, on January 22, the German Ministry of Defense commented on the words of the commander-in-chief about the ownership of Crimea. The department said they did not agree with Schönbach’s position.

These statements in their content and wording in no way correspond to the position of the ministry. Mr. Schönbach will have the opportunity to speak to the Inspector General.

The statement of the head of the German Navy about Crimea angered the German government. Defense Minister Christina Lambrecht held an urgent video call with Armed Forces Inspector General Eberhard Zorn and a public relations consultant to discuss Schönbach’s words. The Vice-Admiral was to have an explanatory talk on Monday, January 24th. Dissatisfied with his words and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

In 2014, after a referendum, Russia integrated Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula whose population is largely ethnically Russian but was part of Ukraine. Western powers have vowed never to recognize the integration.