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German navy chief resigns over Putin comments

BERLIN, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Germany's navy chief stepped down on Saturday after drawing criticism for saying Russian President Vladimir Putin deserved respect and that Kyiv would never win back annexed Crimea from Moscow.

"I have asked Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht to relieve me from my duties with immediate effect," vice-admiral Kay-Achim Schoenbach said in a statement.

"The minister has accepted my request," he added. (Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by Catherine Evans)