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5 September 201618:18

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the article by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on August 26, 2016

1533-05-09-2016

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We took note of the article by German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, “More Security for All in Europe: A Call to Re-Launch Arms Control,” and are currently studying it carefully.  We make the point that the article reflects the German vision of the existing European security situation, which substantially differs from the Russian assessments in a number of aspects.

It will be recalled that we have repeatedly spoken in support of significantly modernising conventional arms control in Europe so that it meets the current military and political realities on the continent, both at various international forums and during bilateral contacts, over a long period of time. As is common knowledge, the former Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was hopelessly outdated, and it was impossible to return to it. At the same time, the updated version approved at the 1999 OSCE Istanbul Summit, the one that we spent almost eight years urging our Western partners to ratify, never took effect.

Nevertheless, we believe that there are opportunities for establishing a new supervisory regime over conventional arms in Europe. Russia, however, has no intention of initiating a dialogue on the issue, much less making demands, as the article claims. We would like to see how Germany’s call will be answered by those of its allies whose efforts led the talks on conventional arms control into an impasse, where it was frozen. For its part, Russia is as always open to discussing issues of international security and stability based on equality and mutual consideration of interests.

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