The President of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, received broad support after appearing in the Foreign Affairs Committee on the armed uprising of the Wagner mercenary group in Russia.
The FDP chairman on the committee, Ulrich Lechte, answered the question of whether Kahl's chair wobbled with the words: "If anyone saw it, he just glued it back together very, very well. And I think that which will last for a long time." Support also came from the SPD and the Greens, as well as from the Union.
Committee chief Michael Roth (SPD) admitted that many had been surprised by the revolt in Russia. "However, after today's meeting, I got the impression that the Federal Intelligence Service, also in cooperation with other intelligence services of friends and partners, dealt with this situation responsibly." SPD chairman Nils Schmid emphasized: "The SPD has nothing to complain about in the activities of Mr. Kahl and the BND." The committee received "knowledgeable assessments and information from the BND".
In a secret meeting Kahl informed about the findings of the German foreign secret service on the events surrounding the armed uprising of the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a week and a half ago. Minister of State Tobias Lindner (Greens) spoke behind closed doors for the Federal Foreign Office.
There had recently been criticism, especially from the ranks of the traffic light factions of the SPD and FDP, that the BND, unlike partner services in the USA, was informed too late about Prigozhin's revolt against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The news portal "The Pioneer" had reported that the SPD was thinking about replacing Kahl, who has been in charge of the service since 2016.
Stegner from the Social Democrats: Convincing appearance of Kahl
Ralf Stegner (SPD), who is also head of the committee of inquiry into the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr from Afghanistan, spoke of Kahl's convincing performance. "Not only things were communicated that we know from the newspaper. And in that respect it met expectations". When asked if he expected Kahl to hold on as BND president for much longer, Stegner replied cautiously: "We're not in the betting shop. And that's why I'm always careful when making such announcements."
Green politician Wagener: Very good information
For the Greens, Robin Wagener said about Kahl's appearance and his future at the head of the BND: "Today we received very good information from the Federal Intelligence Service. And I see no reason to have such discussions right now." In the Bundestag's Afghanistan investigative committee, too, he had already "had the impression that allegations are sometimes made very quickly in the direction of the BND, which on closer inspection then turn out to be unfounded."
Union chairman about Kahl: Chair does not wobble
Jürgen Hardt (CDU), Union chairman on the committee, said he had "the impression that the Federal Intelligence Service was closer to the issues than the general public realized." Looking at Kahl, he added: "His chair doesn't wobble." The appearances of Kahl and Lindner were "exemplary for a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Committee". One did not have the impression that "we were being led behind the spruce".
In the afternoon, the parliamentary body for the control of the secret services (PKGr) wanted to deal with the situation in Russia and Ukraine and with the allegations against Kahl and the BND. There, too, the BND President wanted to answer questions.