Germany's foreign minister says European security is at risk unless Russia and the West agree on new arms control measures.

In a commentary Friday in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned that "deep chasms have opened up between Russia and the West".

He cited Russia's annexation of Crimea and Moscow's decision to suspend the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as evidence the continent's security architecture is failing.

Steinmeier called for "concrete security initiatives" including regional caps on armaments, transparency measures, rules covering new military technology such as drones, and the ability to control arms even in disputed territories.

Germany is hosting an informal meeting of 38 foreign ministers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in Potsdam, near Berlin, on Thursday.