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article imageRussia slams Germany for halting arms deal over Crimea

By AFP     Mar 23, 2014 in Business

Russia's Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov on Sunday said Germany's decision to halt a major arms deal over Moscow's takeover of Crimea was "unconstructive" and taken under pressure from the United States.

Berlin on Wednesday blocked German defence group Rheinmetall from proceeding with a 100-million-euro ($140-million) contract to build a training camp for Russian forces, saying any military deals in the current context would be "indefensible".

"Refusing to have contacts and exchanges between delegates from military agencies is cancelling out the positive trends developed in recent years," Antonov said, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

"We consider that the decisions of the German side were taken under pressure and to be unconstructive."

He blamed the United States for pressuring both Germany and France, whose Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Friday that it had suspended most military cooperation with Russia.

"It's obvious that the notorious 'Atlantic solidarity' prompted our French and German partners to make loud statements on Russia," Antonov said.

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