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Chancellor Schultz appoints Pistorius as German Minister of Defense

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German Chancellor Olaf Schultz will appoint regional official Boris Pistorius as the country’s new defense minister.

The move comes a day after the much-criticized resignation of Christine Lambrecht, dpa reported Tuesday.

The appointed defense minister, Boris Pistorius, is a member of Schulz’s Social Democrats and has been Lower Saxony’s interior minister since 2013.

The 62-year-old Pistorius will have to direct the project to modernize the German army and oversee the expansion of arms shipments to Ukraine amid the Russia war.

Pistorius will also be quickly thrown into the deep end of the new job. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is scheduled to visit Berlin this week and then host a meeting of allies at Ramstein Air Base in western Germany.

On Sunday, the German and French governments will hold bilateral talks, including a meeting of the two countries’ joint security council.

Pistorius completed his military service from 1980 to 1981, then studied law in the western German cities of Osnabruck and Muenster.

The dpa news agency reports that prior to his appointment as interior minister of Lower Saxony, he served as mayor of Osnabrück from 2006 to 2013.

Lambrecht has been defense minister since Schultz became chancellor in December 2021. Critics have long portrayed her as out of her depth.

The German government is facing increasing pressure to take another significant step forward in German military assistance to Ukraine by agreeing to deliver Leopard 2 battle tanks.

Earlier this month, Germany agreed to provide 40 Marder armored personnel carriers and a battery of Patriot air defense missiles to Kyiv.

Germany has provided significant support to Ukraine in recent months, including howitzers, Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns and the first four IRIS-T surface-to-air missile systems.

But critics, some within Germany’s ruling coalition, have long complained about Schultz’s perceived reluctance to increase aid.

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