Russia says Germany's suspension of military ties 'not constructive'

MOSCOW Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:19am EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian defense ministry on Sunday said Germany's decision to suspend military contacts over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region would harm cooperation, including on Afghanistan, and warned France against taking the same tack.

In light of the West's diplomatic showdown with Moscow over Ukraine, Germany halted all defense-related exports to Russia on Friday. France's defense minister said it would pull out of joint military exercises but made no comment about exports.

"This is negating all the positive trends achieved in recent years, including on cooperation on Afghanistan ... We see this decision as not constructive," Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov was cited by the state RIA news agency as saying of Germany's announcement.

Anotov said Germany had made its decision "under pressure", suggesting the United States was steering Paris and Berlin toward taking a harder line toward Russia.

"It's obvious that the notorious 'Atlantic solidarity' led our French and German partners to make strong statements on Russia," he said.

On Friday, after President Vladimir Putin signed laws completing Russia's annexation of the Black Sea peninsula, the German government ordered defense contractor Rheinmetall to halt delivery of combat simulation gear to Russia.

The ministry spokesman said this was a "one-off" case, but that future deals would also be blocked.

France's suspensions of military cooperation with Russia could also jeopardize contracts to supply Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said a decision whether to go ahead with the Mistral deal would not be taken until October.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
leesik wrote:
These articles make me laugh…. When will the world wake up to the new reality. Putin has turned the entire development of international law and agreements over the last 70 upside down. Is everyone asleep? – do you understand the consequences of his actions, words, and intentions.
How can the russians be trusted in any type of international negotiation? Isn’t it time to ask why russia has been so uncooperative for the last 14 years? Putin doesn’t want things to change with Iran – that would mean more competion – not what the kremlin likes. Putin doesn’t want Assad to go – he doesn’t believe that people should have a choice in whom and how they are governed.

Just take a small trip back in time –
Did Putin try to find a peaceful solution when the theater in Moscow was taken hostage? No he gassed his own people!
Did Putin try to find a peaceful solution when the school is Beslan was overtaken?
No another blood bath!
South Ossetia ? Same thing…
Abkhazia? Same thing…..
Syria? how helpful have the russians been
Iran? how helpful have the russians been
Crimea – nothing more than a land grab.
Navalny coined the phrase party of “crooks and thieves”. Well I suggest their appetite is greatly increased. No they are stealing entire countries….

Mar 23, 2014 7:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures