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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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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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Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has given an interview to Interfax in which she speaks about the charges brought against her in the United States.

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Qatari Ambassador to Russia Fahad bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the consequences of sanctions against Qatar, the normalization of relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the Syrian crisis, and gas relations with Russia.

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UNHCR Middle East and North Africa Bureau Director and Regional Refugee Coordinator for the Iraq and Syria Situations Amin Awad has visited Moscow for consultations with representatives of various Russian agencies and given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about the humanitarian situation in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, as well as the migrant crisis in Europe.

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Head of the EU Delegation to Russia Markus Ederer has given an interview to Interfax in which he speaks about prospects of normalizing relations between EU and Russia, the EU readiness to take part in the post-war reconstruction of Syria, and about how the EU is going to protects its companies working with Iran in the light of new U.S. sanctions.

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U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has given a press conference at Interfax in the wake of his visit to Russia, in which he speaks about results of his visit, U.S. President Donald Trump‘s decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty, plans for a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin and others issues.

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New NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is on a first trip to Russia. After visiting Star City and speaking to students at Moscow State University, he went to Baikonur Cosmodrome, where he met with Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin to discuss the joint exploration of space and where the two plan to watch the launch of an expedition to the International Space Station. Bridenstine spoke to Interfax correspondents Dmitry Veklich and Nikolay Vlasov about the prospects of carrying out joint space flights, the future of the International Space Station, and Russia-U.S. cooperation in building manned infrastructure in lunar orbit.

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