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Following the resignation of Federal Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), the question is who will follow her. © Michael Kappeler/dpa

Who will take over the Ministry of Defense after the resignation of Christine Lambrecht? In view of the Ukrainian war and the large construction works of the Bundeswehr, it is one of the most important posts in the cabinet.

Berlin – Following the resignation of Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht, Chancellor Olaf Scholz is expected to announce his successor today.

Labor Minister Hubertus Heil said last night on the ARD program “Hart aber fair” that the chancellor will announce the personal details quickly, “ie tomorrow”. “There will be no stalemate,” the SPD politician emphasized. FDP defense politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann said in the ARD “Tagesthemen” regarding Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine that the vacuum must be filled immediately.

Scholz: “I have a clear idea”

The defense minister, criticized for months, wrote yesterday morning that she had called for Scholz’s release. The successor question initially remained unanswered. However, Scholz said: “I have a clear idea and everyone will know very quickly how this should continue.”

SPD leader Lars Klingbeil, Chancellor Wolfgang Schmidt and Labor Minister Heil, as well as military commissioner Eva Högl and defense ministry parliamentary state secretary Siemtje Möller were discussed as possible candidates for successor. .

Heil did not clearly comment on last night’s speculation, but emphasized personal plans in his current department. “Anyway, as labor minister I still have a lot planned,” the SPD politician said on “Hart but fair.”

It has not yet been officially announced when and how Scholz will announce the personnel decision. The chancellor is expected to attend talks in Mainz this morning, and a visit to the Federal Foreign Office in Brandenburg an der Havel is scheduled for midday.

Some construction works

Lambrecht leaves the future department head with a whole series of construction works. The modernization of the Bundeswehr, among other things with the help of the special fund of 100 billion euros, is just beginning. So far, only contracts for a good ten billion euros have been concluded. Chancellor Scholz announced rearmament after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

It is also unclear how arms deliveries to Ukraine will continue. After the federal government recently decided to supply armored personnel carriers to Marder, current debates revolve around providing Leopard main battle tanks to the attacked country. Deficiencies in numerous weapons systems, such as the Puma infantry fighting vehicle, and difficulties in acquiring ammunition are also ongoing problems for troops.

The orderly withdrawal of the UN Minusma mission in Mali is also on the agenda of the future “Ibuk”, the holder of the authority to command and command. According to a federal government decision, this should happen in May 2024.

The SPD women’s organization insisted on maintaining the equal composition of the federal cabinet, that is, an equal number of men and women as ministers. “A society that is made up of more than 50 percent women must also be reflected in the cabinet,” said the chair of the Social Democratic women’s working group, Maria Noichl, of the “Rheinische Post”. “Fifty and fifty should continue to apply. That’s what the SPD stands for.”

Important dates this week

CDU foreign policy expert Roderich Kiesewetter noted that representatives of Ukraine’s Western allies will meet on Friday at the US Ramstein Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Whoever succeeds Lambrecht must “immediately take over leadership and coordination of military support for Ukraine or at least end the German blockade,” Kiesewetter told newspapers from the Funke media group. “Because Germany should finally take the lead in coordinating a Leopard alliance to live up to its self-imposed claim to a leading role.”

Strack-Zimmermann, chairwoman of the Bundestag Defense Committee, has repeatedly called for action on the issue of main battle tanks. The axis remains the chancellery, she emphasized in ARD. She hopes that a decision will now be made very quickly. “The Europeans and also the NATO countries are waiting for the leadership of Germany.”

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