BERLIN, June 20 (Xinhua) -- German leading politicians defended German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Monday after his controversial remarks on recent military maneuvers of NATO.
The foreign minister is absolutely right when he notes the fact that NATO is not attributable to the Cold War, said Sigmar Gabriel, leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Berlin on Monday.
"We have to remain in discussion with Russia," said Gabriel, while calling allegations against Steinmeier "absurd".
German President Joachim Gauck also defended Steinmeier indirectly during a state visit to the Romanian capital Bucharest, as he said that German diplomacy is endeavoring to keep doors for talks with Moscow open.
However, he added that no one should have any doubt on the allegiance of the Germans in the context of NATO.
Steinmeier's remarks did not imply a rejection of the Minsk agreements, also said the President.
Steinmeier criticized recent military maneuvers of NATO in Eastern Europe against Russia, accusing the military alliance of "warmongering" and calling for more dialogues with Russia.
Meanwhile, he also underpinned his criticism of NATO's Russia policy on Monday at the sidelines of a meeting with EU counterparts in Luxembourg.
He said he has the impression that the defense alliance has completely forgotten exchanges and dialogue at the moment.
In his opinion, the aim must be to seek ways to ease conflicts, and deterrence will not be enough in the end.
NATO launched a large-scale exercise in Poland on June 6. The two-week drill involved 31,000 troops, 14,000 of them from the United States.
On last Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced to deploy four multinational battalions to Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Germany also plans to deploy troops for it.