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 Germany’s defense minister warns Trump against unreliability of nuclear deals with Russia

Germany’s Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump's readiness to alleviate sanctions on Russia in exchange for cutting nuclear weapons, recalled that the Russian Federation had violated its promise to Kyiv to guarantee the preservation of Ukraine's borders in exchange for giving up nuclear arsenal.

She said in an interview with German's Handelsblatt Global, Censor.NET reports.

The minister said it was still unclear what stand the new U.S. administration would actually take despite its friendly rhetoric.

"Europeans take our stand: respecting other countries' sovereignty and borders is essential for peaceful coexistence. That's why the Minsk agreement, which Russia has agreed to, is binding. That means the sanctions against Russia can end immediately if the Minsk agreement for Ukraine is implemented," she said.

Asked about Trump offering Russia to give up nuclear weapons, Ursula von der Leyen said: "It's always good to seek the dialog with Russia, but we shouldn't forget where we're coming from. Ukraine has already been duped once on this question: the country gave up its nuclear weapons after the fall of the Soviet Union in exchange for Russia guaranteeing its borders. The Russian annexation of Crimea broke that promise."

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In an interview with BBC's HARDtalk, she said Trump's proposal was doomed, adding Germany would not support it.

"I know many Republicans in Congress and the Senate that have a very clear opinion on Russia and want international law to work," the defense minister told Handelsblatt Global.

Earlier, U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump said he was ready to offer easing sanctions against Russia in exchange for reducing its nuclear arsenal.

Read more: "If we don't keep those sanctions on and even increase them, it will encourage Vladimir Putin, who is a war criminal," - US Senator McCain

Kremlin's press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said no talks on the nuclear deal between the two countries are currently underway.
 
 
 
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