Germany opposes (1) cancelling the INF treaty, and (2) installing new nuke missiles in Europe

Maas call for new arms control architecture

Heiko Maas, new German Foreign Minister
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In today’s
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has spoken out clearly against the deployment of new medium-range nuclear missiles in Germany and throughout Europe. Further, in an interview with the German Press Agency (DPA), he announced Germany’s opposition to any breach of the 30-year-old INF treaty between Russia and the US that bans the use of medium-range weapons.

“Europe should by no means be the scene of an upgrade debate,” said Maas. “A deployment of new medium-range missiles would meet with widespread resistance in Germany.”

The US accuses Russia of breaking the INF contract with the construction of new missiles, and has threatened cancellation. In November, they gave Moscow a final three-month deadline, which expires in early February. Russia, however, shows no willingness to compromise and accuses NATO in return of breaking the INF treaty with the deployment of a missile defense system in Romania.

“Can lead to the destruction of the whole civilization”
The rhetoric in the dispute recalls the time of the Cold War. Just before Christmas, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke in his annual press conference on the growing danger of nuclear war: “If, God forbid, something like that happens, it can destroy all of civilization, if not the whole planet.”

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Maas was concerned about the development in the DPA interview: “Nuclear armament is certainly the wrong answer,” he said. “The policy of the 80s does not help answer the questions of today.”

Autonomous weapon systems without human influence
He called for a “new arms control architecture”. “This should not only include nuclear weapons, but also modern autonomous weapon systems that kill completely out of human control, such as killer robots.”

Germany will stand up for outlawing them. From January 1, Germany will be a member of the United Nations Security Council for two years, the most important UN body, with five permanent and ten alternate members. The proscription of autonomous weapons systems that operate without human influence has been under negotiation for years. It is particularly difficult to define which systems would be covered by such a contract.

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