German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht resigns amid Ukraine war backlash

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Monday formally tendered her resignation.
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German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht on Monday tendered her resignation, amid scrutiny over Berlin’s response to the war in Ukraine.

“Today I asked the Chancellor to be released from the role of defence minister,” Lambrecht said in a statement, according to a CNBC translation.

Her stepdown comes as Germany mulls whether to approve an increase in military support to Ukraine in order to help Kyiv’s armed forces prevail against the Russian onslaught.

“The focus from the media over months on my person hardly allows for objective reporting and discussion about the soldiers, the armed forces and the course for security policy in the interest of Germany’s citizens,” Lambrecht said.

“The valuable work of the soldiers and the many motivated people in the industry needs to be at the forefront. I therefore decided to make my post available,” she added. “I thank everyone who engages themselves for our security every day and sincerely wish them the best of luck for the future.”

Lambrecht, a senior lawmaker in German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democratic Party, had faced sustained pressure over her credibility to lead the country’s armed forces.

Multiple media outlets reported over the weekend that Lambrecht’s resignation could be imminent, following a series of missteps.

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more.

— CNBC’s Sophie Kiderlin contributed to this report.