Speaking to Spiegel online on 17 June, Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement, here in full, on the announcement that Russia is to boost its arsenal of missiles:
Yesterday's announcement by President Putin of plans to expand Russia's strategic arsenal of missiles is unnecessary and certainly not conducive to stability and de‑escalation in Europe.The world has changed radically since 1989: We are no longer in the middle of the Cold War, we no longer have heavily armed blocs confronting each other at the heart of Europe. Yet the old reflexes from this period are evidently more deep‑seated than we imagined even until last year.
I can only warn all parties not to give in to these reflexes and get caught up in an accelerating spiral of escalation leading from words to action.
That is why we must all now take great care to ensure that all that we so laboriously and painstakingly built up within our European peaceful order after the fall of the Wall is not torn down in the short time since the outbreak of the crisis in Ukraine.
At the NATO Summit in Wales we made decisions which show that we take the concerns of our eastern European partners seriously. We are striving to implement them with great care. We are working with Russia to find solutions for the ongoing conflicts with Iran and Syria. We Germans in particular are deeply engaged in working to overcome the Ukraine crisis. However, we need more constructive cooperation from Moscow in this endeavour than we have seen recently.