NATO-Germany Meeting: NATO's Stoltenberg backs German call for Russia arms control talks

19:02 Sep. 2, 2016

NATO's Stoltenberg backs German call for Russia arms control talks

German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg are pictured at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, Germany on June 1, 2016 (Getty Images)

Germany's foreign minister has suggested allies test the diplomatic water

NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has supported the idea of seeking arms control talks between the military alliance and Russia. Germany's foreign minister has suggested allies test the diplomatic water.

Stoltenberg on Friday gave his backing to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's call for talks with Russia on weapons control.

Read also Steinmeier and Stoltenberg back initiative to create EU armed forces

"We need to avoid a new arms race. We need to avoid a new Cold War, and, therefore, we need to also look into how we can make progress on the arms control agenda," said Stoltenberg.

The former Norwegian prime minister also sought to counter criticism from some US quarters that weapons control talks were pointless. Opponents say no deals can be done with Russia because it has failed to adhere to existing agreements and due to the Kremlin's annexation of Crimea.

Washington accuses Russia of further stoking instability in the Donestk and Luhansk breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine, and of violations of international law - despite a series of agreements in the Belarusian capital, Minskto keep a ceasefire between Ukraine and pro-Russia rebels, which has proved increasingly fragile. Full story 

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