Berlin The new Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD) has received his certificate of appointment. Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier presented it to him on Thursday morning at Bellevue Palace in Berlin.
Pistorius was previously Interior Minister of Lower Saxony and was surprisingly appointed to the Federal Cabinet by Chancellor Scholz. The resigned Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) received her dismissal certificate.
Pistorius is to be sworn in in the Bundestag in the morning. Immediately thereafter, the Inspector General of the armed forcesEberhard Zorn, received the new minister with military honors in the Bendler Block, the seat of the Ministry of Defence.
Steinmeier wished Pistorius “perseverance, good luck and a happy hand”. the SPD-Politicians take over the ministerial office in a threat and dangerous situation that Germany haven’t known for a long time and have to get started right away.
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“For all the upcoming challenges and necessary reforms, you now need a cool head, good nerves, strong leadership, clear language and political experience,” said the Federal President. According to Steinmeier, Pistorius has shown all of this in other demanding political offices.
Steinmeier emphasizes the importance of Ukraine support
The Federal President also warned that the armed forces had to become “deterrable and defensible” again. Russia’s brutal attack on the Ukraine destroyed the European security order. The armed forces must “consistently” fulfill the core task of national and alliance defense and need a “solid” number of personnel.
“As a strong country in the middle of Europe, we have a responsibility not only for ourselves but also for others,” added Steinmeier.
The Federal President stressed that Germany would continue to support Ukraine militarily and would help “rebuild a battered country”.
“Germany is not at war, but the years of peace dividends, from which we Germans have benefited so much and for so long, are over,” said Steinmeier. An epoch against the wind is beginning for Germany. “We must respond to threats that are also aimed at us.”
Steinmeier thanks ex-minister: Lambrecht was ready “not only to complain about problems, but also to want to solve them”
Steinmeier thanked the resigning Minister Lambrecht for her 23 years of service as a Member of Parliament and her work as Federal Minister in various positions. He also thanked her “for the willingness to stand up for our country and our democracy for so many years, to defend it where it is attacked, not only to lament its problems but also to want to solve them”.
Pistorius wants to drive from the swearing-in ceremony in the Bundestag to the Bendlerblock, the seat of the Ministry of Defence. There he will be received with military honors by the Chief of Staff of the German Armed Forces, Eberhard Zorn. Shortly thereafter, a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is on his schedule.
The war in Ukraine and continued support for von Russia attacked country. In the past few days, pressure has increased on Germany to also make Leopard-type main battle tanks available to Ukraine.