BERLIN, June 9. /TASS/. US decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies inflicted yet another blow to the arms control architecture, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a statement following talks with his counterparts from 15 nations within the Stockholm Initiative on Disarmament Demobilization Reintegration (SIDDR).
The new arms race must be avoided, he added.
"Unfortunately, the arms control architecture faced new bitter setbacks - including both US withdrawal from the Treaty on Open Skies and concerning developments surrounding the Iranian nuclear program," Maas said. "Prevention of the new nuclear arms race is a matter of life and death for humanity."
"In this regard, with must do everything to overcome this lull in nuclear disarmament," Maas underscored.
He pointed out that Berlin SIDDR talks in February rolled out concrete measures that aim to reinvigorate the disarmament.
"The key element of control over nuclear weapons is the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons," the German Foreign Minister said.
He confirmed Germany’s intent to achieve the "global zero" - a nuclear-free world.
In June 2019, Sweden launched a disarmament initiative, joined by 16 nations.
About Treaty on Open Skies
On May 21, US President Donald Trump announced the Washington’s intent to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, which allows its signatories to conduct flights over each other’s territory to observe military activity. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in his written statement that the decision will enter force in six months after May 22. The US cited alleged violations of the Treaty by Russia as a pretext for withdrawal.
Russia denies these allegations, claiming its adherence to the Treaty, and rolls out accusations of its own.