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Interfax.com  |  Interviews  |  Heiko Maas: Ball is clearly in Russia‘s court as far as preservation of...



Interviews


January 18, 2019

Heiko Maas: Ball is clearly in Russia‘s court as far as preservation of INF Treaty is concerned


German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has given an interview to Interfax ahead of his visit to Moscow in which he speaks about Germany‘s position on the INF Treaty and the Ukrainian settlement.

Question: Foreign Minister, initial talks on the INF disarmament treaty have yielded no results. Nevertheless, the Russian foreign minister continues to rely on dialogue with the U.S. as a priority and has called on European countries to lend their support to the negotiations. Is that what you intend to do?

Answer: The INF Treaty is an important pillar of the European security architecture. We all have an interest in preserving this agreement, and I am committed to this cause. Talks on the INF Treaty have been taking place between the U.S. and Russia for five years. The fact that there are considerable doubts and concerns has been conveyed to Russia in all sorts of talks - without achieving a solution to date. Russia can save the Treaty by dismantling cruise missiles that violate the agreement. Returning to compliance and safeguarding the INF Treaty are, incidentally, still on the table even after a possible suspension. The ball is clearly in Russia‘s court.

Q.: How are the talks in the Normandy format proceeding, and what do you want to discuss with Sergei Lavrov and Pavlo Klimkin on Friday? Can your trip be interpreted as a renewed attempt to act as a mediator between the two countries?

A.: The situation in eastern Ukraine is untenable. Shots are still being fired on a daily basis and the suffering of the people in the Donbass region is immeasurable, particularly in the winter months. Russia should bring its influence to bear in order to facilitate a peaceful solution. We urgently need to make progress in the Minsk process. I will make the case for this in Kyiv as well, and this is also on the agenda of the talks that we are conducting in the Normandy format.



Interviews
 

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty on that is expected on August 2, about Russia‘s response to the U.S. and NATO possible deployment of missiles banned by the treaty, and about whether the Cuban Missile Crisis may repeat itself.

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold negotiations on the sidelines of the Petersburg Dialogue forum in Germany on Thursday. Maas has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the forum, in which he speaks about prospects of settling the conflict in Ukraine, Germanys preparations for ensuring security in the absence of the INF Treaty and attempts to save the Iranian nuclear deal.

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German Ambassador to Russia Rudiger von Fritsch, who is leaving Moscow after a five-year mission, told Interfax about the state of affairs in bilateral relations, Germanys position on the Nord Stream 2 project amidst sanction risks, and assessed prospects for settling the crisis in Ukraine under the new authorities in Kyiv.

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U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about results of the trilateral meeting on Afghanistan settlement that took place in Moscow on April 25, prospects of the intra-Afghan meeting in Doha, and Russia‘s role in the Afghan issue.

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has given an interview to Interfax ahead of the Alliances 70th anniversary that is to be celebrated on April 4. He speaks in the interview about the NATOs vision of future relations with Russia, its attitude to the situation surrounding the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) Treaty and the New START Treaty, as well as further plans of expanding the Alliance.

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British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the current situation in the relationship between the United Kingdom and Russia, the impact of the Skripal case on it, the restoration of the numbers of diplomatic staff, exchange of information on counter-terrorism, possible introduction of sanctions over the Kerch Strait incident, the INF Treaty, and British-Russian economic relations.

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Chairman of the German Committee on East European Economic Relations Wolfgang Büchele has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the activity of German companies in Russia.

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