: German FM slams NATO war games in Eastern Europe

10:32 Jun. 18, 2016

German FM slams NATO war games in Eastern Europe

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier during a joint press conference with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Berlin, Germany, 15 June 2016. (Getty Images)

Steinmeier says alliance should be ready for dialogue

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has criticised NATO's recent military training in Eastern Europe and urged for more active dialogue with Russia, Deutsche Welle reports citing Bild am Sonntag. "What we should not do is continue to give an edge to the situation by sabre-rattling and battle-cries," Steinmeier was quoted as saying.

"If someone is certain that symbolic movements of tanks will ensure more security on NATO's eastern borders, they are wrong," the Minister stated. According to him, focusing on military aspects and deterrence policy would be a "fatal mistake." Steinmeier said, in addition to general defence strategy there should also be willingness for dialogue.

Read also Sanctions should be 'gradually lifted' if Russia progresses in Minsk - Steinmeier

Anaconda 2016 - NATO's largest military exercises on the alliance's eastern flank - were taking place in Poland from June 7 to 17.

The list of participants included 19 NATO member states, as well as six partner states from a joint program The Partnership for Peace that includes Ukraine.

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