Germany Accuses Putin Of Cold War Reflexes After Moscow Beefs Up Nuclear Arsenal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Germany Accuses Putin Of Cold War Reflexes After Moscow Beefs Up Nuclear Arsenal

Posted: Jun 18, 2015 at 5:34 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is acting with Cold War reflexes, Germany’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, after Moscow decided to add more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal.

“President Putin’s announcement to stock up Russia’s strategic missile arsenal is unnecessary and certainly doesn’t contribute to stability and an easing of tension in Europe,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier told German news portal Spiegel Online.

Russian officials have denounced a plan by Washington to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO states in Eastern Europe, on or near Russia’s borders, as the most aggressive act by Washington since the Cold War.

A German government spokesman also criticised Putin’s announcements.

“They are not a helpful way to overcome the present difficulties that exist in the relationship between Russia and Europe or Russia and the United States,” Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference in Berlin.

Steinmeier added that the world had changed since the end of the Cold War in 1989: “But the old reflexes from this time are evidently more alive than what we thought up until last year.”

“I can only warn against giving in to such reflexes and entering into a rapid spiral of escalation of words and then acts,” he said.

Meanwhile, Russia does not want to enter a costly new arms race with the United States, a top Kremlin aide said Wednesday, after President Vladimir Putin said it was boosting its nuclear arsenal.

“Russia is trying to react to possible threats with some sort of means but that’s it,” Yury Ushakov, Putin’s top foreign policy aide, told a briefing.

“We are against any arms race because it naturally weakens our economic capabilities,” Ushakov said.

“In principle we are against it.”

He declined to comment when asked about the possibility of a direct military conflict between Russia and the West.