December 27, 2018 / 6:47 AM / a month ago

Germany would oppose new nuclear missiles in Europe: Foreign Minister

FILE PHOTO: German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas delivers his statement, during the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, November 28, 2018. Salvatore Di Nolfi/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany would strongly oppose any move to station new medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe if a key Cold War-era arms control treaty is scrapped, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told DPA.

“Under no circumstances should Europe become a stage for a rearmament debate,” the German news agency quoted him as saying in an interview published on Wednesday.

“Stationing of new medium-range missiles would be met with broad resistance in Germany,” he said.

The United States has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans Moscow and Washington from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

Russia has said it was planning for a U.S. deployment of new nuclear missiles in Europe following Washington’s planned withdrawal from the treaty.

Germany’s Maas said: “Nuclear rearmament is most certainly the wrong answer.”

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Paul Tait

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