Europe

Germany warns of new risks to Europe; urges dialogue

  • Surrounded by morning fog spectators watch the mock battles between Soviet and Nazi forces during a ceremony to mark the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow, on the 75th anniversary of Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in World War II in the Brest Fortress memorial, 360 kilometers (225 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus, early Wednesday, June 22, 2016. The garrison of the 19-century fortress was encircled hours after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, but the Brest fortress' Soviet defenders held out for 28 days. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    Surrounded by morning fog spectators watch the mock battles between Soviet and Nazi forces during a ceremony to mark the Day of Remembrance and Sorrow, on the 75th anniversary of Germany's attack on the Soviet Union in World War II in the Brest Fortress memorial, 360 kilometers (225 miles) southwest of Minsk, Belarus, early Wednesday, June 22, 2016. The garrison of the 19-century fortress was encircled hours after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, but the Brest fortress' Soviet defenders held out for 28 days. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, takes part in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, June 22, 2016, marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

Seventy-five years after the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, which led to the deaths of tens of millions, Germany's foreign minister is warning "Europe is at risk of splitting along new divides."

In an op-ed printed Wednesday in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, Frank-Walter Steinmeier cautions "peace in Europe cannot be taken for granted, not even today."

Referring to Russia's annexation of Crimea, Steinmeier says "unilateral shifting of borders in breach of international law and the failure to respect the territorial integrity of neighboring countries... take us back to the times from which we believed we had escaped, times that nobody can wish for."

Steinmeier urged all sides to return to dialogue, saying "the leaders of today have the duty to draw the right lessons from our common past."