"Now, we [NATO members] should be careful not to start a new arms race. This will not help either mitigate the conflicts or restore good relations with Russia," Schroeder told the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper in an interview, commenting on the Alliance's decision to deploy four multinational battalions — around 4,000 troops — to the Baltic states and Poland to bolster their defense capabilities in the region.
The ex-chancellor said that he considered necessary for NATO to take steps toward Russia, as "the assumption that someone in the Russian government may invade any of the bloc's countries has nothing to do with reality."
Speaking on the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions, Schroeder said that Germany should strive not to lose the achievements of the former Chancellor Willy Brandt, who played a significant role in the establishment of relations between the Russia and Germany. According to Schroeder, Germany should be careful not to lose the privilege of political and economic partnership with Russia.
Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.