Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel issued the following statement today (4 February) on the publication of the US nuclear posture review:
“The US Administration’s decision to develop new tactical nuclear weapons shows that the spiral of a new nuclear arms race has already been set in motion. As at the time of the Cold War, we in Europe are particularly at risk. For this reason, we in Europe in particular must launch new arms control and disarmament initiatives.
The international security environment has changed dramatically in recent years. Developments in eastern Europe including the annexation of Crimea have led to a dramatic loss of trust in Russia. The signs that Russia is pursuing not only conventional, but also nuclear armament, are unmistakeable. States are collapsing to the south of Europe; we are seeing nuclear armament in Asia; and the global order is increasingly being called into question. We need to work with our partners and allies to find solutions to all of these challenges. However, the solution must not be to simply join the nuclear arms race.
The mutually accelerating development of new nuclear weapons must be viewed with concern, as it sends the wrong message and entails the risk of an arms race.
The current arms control treaties must therefore be upheld as a matter of urgency. We need new disarmament initiatives rather than new arms systems. The German Government is doing its utmost to make progress on global disarmament with its partners and allies. Our long-term aim must remain a world without nuclear weapons.”