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German top diplomat says arms control mechanisms in Europe should be updated

December 08, 2016, 12:58 UTC+3

Steinmeier has noted that since he proposed to update the arms control system, "responses have been received from many of the OSCE member states"

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© EPA/BERND VON JUTRCZENKA

HAMBURG, December 8. /TASS/. Conventional arms control mechanisms in Europe need to be updated so that they could help meet the challenges of our time, Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said at a meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Hamburg.

"Traditional mechanisms often prove ineffective because they are no more consistent with the political, military and technological reality," Steinmeier said. He added that "we should establish a new arms control system that would not be affected by various crises but would reflect the contemporary challenges."

The German top diplomat noted that since he had proposed to update the arms control system, "responses have been received from many of the OSCE member states."

On Ukraine 

The parties to the conflict do not consider that the ceasefire regime in Donbass is a commitment, Steinmeier noted.

"The truce in Ukraine is perceived by the sides more like a recommendation rather than an unconditional demand," Steinmeier said, adding that over the past weeks the situation in the region has deteriorated.

The efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement in Donbass have been continuing for two years, but "all the sides should choose this path, and this is happening slowly, too slowly," he said, adding that "for me this is unacceptable."

"We need a new impetus for withdrawing heavy weapons and separating forces on the line of contact," he said. The minister added that "the OSCE needs additional personnel and appropriate equipment."

The plan for peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbass is based on accords reached in Minsk in September 2014 and February 2015 that envision a ceasefire, pullback of armaments from the line of contact separating the sides, resumption of economic ties and a profound constitutional reform in Ukraine.

However, the Ukrainian side refuses to fulfill the political clauses of the accords, citing security problems.

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