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‘No need to apologize’ for leaked call – German ambassador to UK

Miguel Berger presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth II via secure videolink in 2022

The German Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Miguel Berger, has stated that there is no need to apologize for the security breaches that led to the leaked call between senior German military officials.

In comments to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ambassador Berger explained that a preliminary investigation by military intelligence services indicated the leak was due to an individual mistake by one of the officers on the call. It seems one of the participants connected in an insecure manner, allowing Russian intelligence services to intercept the conversation.

As a result of this lapse in security, Russia was able to obtain and publish a recording of German officials discussing sensitive details about alleged British operations on the ground in Ukraine. While highly regrettable, Ambassador Berger affirmed there is no formal apology necessary.

The Ambassador was responding to criticism from former UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who had implied that Germany may be penetrated by Russian intelligence and therefore an unreliable ally. Ambassador Berger strongly rebutted this claim, stating such comments are “extremely unhelpful” and precisely what Russia aims to sow through hybrid attacks and information operations.

On the content of the leaked call, it referenced the prospect of Ukraine using German-made Taurus cruise missiles to strike the Kerch Bridge linking Russia to illegally annexed Crimea. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has consistently ruled out supplying these missiles to Ukraine, cautioned Ambassador Berger, in order to avoid “consequences we all don’t want to see” and prevent any potential escalation.

In closing, the Ambassador stressed Germany’s Defence Minister had been in contact with allies to clarify their position on this incident. Moving forward, he said the focus must remain on ensuring Ukraine has sufficient ammunition supplies, as Kyiv says diminishing munitions are undermining their deference against intensifying Russian attacks.

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