Wednesday, Jun 26

Germany opposes new nuclear missiles in Europe

Foreign minister says Berlin planning to host disarmament conference in March, after US and Russia pulled out of INF treaty.
02.02.2019 - 17:01

Germany said on Saturday that it would oppose stationing new medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe after the US and Russia announced that they are pulling out of a landmark arms treaty.

"WE NEED NEW RULES"

“Stationing medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe now would be the wrong answer. We can’t fight a fire by adding fuel to the fire,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in an interview with Funke Media Group.

Maas said Germany is planning to host next month an international disarmament conference in Berlin, which would focus on new advanced weapons systems. “We need new rules for the new technologies,” he said, referring to advanced missiles, autonomous weapons systems, cyber-arms and killer robots.

The US had accused Russia of violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear (INF) treaty and announced on Friday that it was withdrawing from the pact, which could come into effect on Aug. 2.

On Saturday, in a tit-for-tat response, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was suspending its obligations under the INF treaty. The treaty has been widely seen as a cornerstone of European security in the post-Cold War era.

Signed in 1987 between the US and Russia, the INF treaty prohibited both countries from possessing and testing ground launch missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.