BERLIN (AA) – Germany on Monday strongly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to put his nuclear forces on high alert, calling it “irresponsible”.
“Of course, we take the statements made by the Russian president very, very seriously, and it is also clear how irresponsible such a threat is,” government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit told journalists in Berlin.
The US and the EU have repeatedly expressed concern over Moscow’s controversial military doctrine, which permits it to use atomic weapons to end a conflict as part of its “escalate to de-escalate” strategy.
Meanwhile, Hebestreit welcomed the ongoing peace talks between Russia and Ukraine which kicked off in the Ukraine-Belarus border region earlier Monday.
“First of all, the federal government welcomes the fact that people do talk (with one another) and diplomatic solutions are always the only sensible ones,” he said.
“At the same time, we also know that the talks will be very difficult talks and that will drag on,” he added.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday assured Ukraine of full solidarity in its war with Russia.
“As democrats, as Europeans, we stand by your side – on the right side of history. Germany stands today with Ukraine, our thoughts and our sympathies lie with the victims of the Russian war of aggression,” Scholz said during the special session of the German parliament on the Russian war on Ukraine.
He defended the government’s decision to supply German arms to Ukraine. “There could be no other answer to Putin’s aggression.”
The German government made a historic shift on Saturday and now wants to deliver weapons from its military stocks to Ukraine.
The US, Germany and other allies also agreed to exclude Russian financial institutions from SWIFT, an international banking network.