Ukrainian Foreign Ministry demands public refutation by German govt of Navy chief's statements on Crimea

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine demands a public refutation by the German government of the statements made by Chief of the German Naval Forces Kay-Achim Schönbach regarding Crimea, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko has said.

"We demand a public refutation of the statements of the commander of the Navy by the German government, which hang the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and undermine efforts to de-escalate the security situation in Europe," Nikolenko told Interfax-Ukraine on Saturday.

He said the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry considers the statements of German Navy Chief Schönbach to be categorically unacceptable.

"The Crimean peninsula can only be lost in the imagination of the German vice admiral. Crimea will certainly return due to the persistent efforts of Ukraine and its partners, who will show determination in countering the aggressor state. In this regard, it requires clarification from the German government how the words of the Navy chief correlate with Germany's consistent support for the Crimea platform," Nikolenko said.

The spokesperson said the Foreign Ministry was especially surprised to hear Mr. Schönbach's sentiments about the need to resume dialogue with Russia at a time when the number of victims of Russian aggression has already exceeded 14,000 and more than 100,000 Russian army lined up along the Ukrainian state border, people continue to die in Donbas from Russian bullets, and Crimea has become a human rights ghetto and an aircraft carrier armed to the teeth, posing a threat to the entire Black Sea region.

"On the territory of Germany itself, Russian special services destroy political opponents, conduct disinformation campaigns and try to interfere in internal affairs. Even an attempt to understand [Vladimir] Putin by the commander of the German Navy must have its moral, political and security limits. In this case, these limits are grossly violated," Nikolenko said.

Earlier, German Naval Forces Chief Schönbach said "the Crimean peninsula is lost and it will never return."