19:41 GMT30 May 2020
Listen Live
    Politics
    Get short URL
    3217
    Subscribe

    Relations with Russia should not be limited to sanctions and military activities, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced during his visit to the Baltic countries. He urged Eastern European partners to negotiate with Moscow, N-TV reported.

    Germany is serious about its commitments to NATO, but it doesn't mean that Europe should break off "the negotiation thread" with Moscow, Steinmeier said during his recent visit to the Baltic countries.

    Baltic countries have repeatedly criticized the German politician for his "courteous attitude" toward Russia. Most often, this criticism has sounded from Lithuania where anti-Russian sentiment is especially strong.

    During his visit to the Baltic States, Steinmeier responded to these accusations, stressing that in his experience the problem can't be solved if it is being ignored and downplayed. The West can consider sanctions and military decisions, but it won't be able to achieve any progress if it does not consider the option of negotiations, the politician said.

    "We can talk about the relief of the sanctions when the progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements is achieved," Steinmeier told the magazine Der Spiegel earlier.

    Recently, German officials announced the possibility of deploying its military forces to Lithuania as part of a NATO mission to deter an alleged Russian threat. A final decision on the deployment of German troops, however, has not yet been reached, German media reported.

    According to N-TV, Steinmeier and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are showing restraint on this matter. On the one hand, Bundeswehr has already reached the limit of its capacity due to participation in the various operations abroad, and on the other hand, German authorities fear that the military build-up in the Baltic States would negatively affect negotiations with Moscow over Ukraine.

    Since 2014, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, particularly in eastern European countries bordering Russia, using Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine as a pretext for the move.

    Moscow has repeatedly denied the claims and warned NATO that the military buildup on Russia's borders is provocative and could harm regional and global stability.

    Related:

    NATO Needs Dialogue With Russia to Rebuild Trust - Steinmeier
    Russian FM Lavrov and German FM Steinmeier Hold Joint Press Conference
    Tags:
    dialogue, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Baltic Region, Europe, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook