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Boris Pistorius to become Germany’s next defense minister

Lower Saxony’s Social Democratic (SPD) Interior Minister Boris Pistorius will be Germany’s next defense minister, two sources told Reuters on Tuesday.

Florian Gaertner/Contributor/Getty Images

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will appoint Boris Pistorius, Lower Saxony’s longtime interior minister, to replace Christine Lambrecht as defense minister, the government confirmed Tuesday morning.

The Social Democrat Pistorius62, will receive his mandate on Thursday.

The appointment takes place during the day the resignation of predecessor Lambrechtpresented amid intense media scrutiny and mounting pressure over Germany’s response to the war in Ukraine.

“The focus of the media on my person for months hardly allows for objective reporting and discussion of the soldiers, the armed forces and the course of security policy in the interest of German citizens,” he said. said Lambrecht on Monday.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner congratulated Pistorius by Twitter.

Opposition MP Serap Guler of the Christian Democratic Union, who has already strongly criticized Lambrecht’s tenure, wished the defense minister-designate good luck in upholding “the interests of security policy in relation to the Chancellery”. on Twitter. She noted that the date “always ends up being someone whose name wasn’t previously in the conversation.”

Pistorius will spring into action in his new post, with the US Secretary of Defense’s top ally, Lloyd Austin, who will visit Berlin this week, a German Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters. Partners released earlier this month cut statements pledging to strengthen its military support for Ukraine through a $3 billion aid package. Berlin has pledged to supply up to 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and a Patriot defense missile system to Kyiv, while Washington has pledged to provide 50 Bradley fighting vehicles.

Some critics have expressed skepticism about Scholz’s perceived reluctance to increase armed aid to Ukraine, casting a shadow over Lambrecht’s credibility to lead the effort. She has been criticized for offering to supply 5,000 helmets to Ukraine last year, at a time when the Kyiv administration was asking for heavy weapons. More recently, she was criticized for posting a controversial one-minute New Year’s Eve video on social media, in which she discussed the war in Ukraine and appeared to reflect on personal encounters against the backdrop of fireworks.

— CNBC’s Sophie Kiderlin contributed to this report.

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