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Russia withdraws from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe: NATO's reaction

Daria DurovaNews
Russia withdraws from another arms treaty
Russia withdraws from another arms treaty

At 00:00 on Tuesday, November 7, the Russian Federation finally withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). Moscow announced the suspension of this document back in 2007. In response, NATO announced an indefinite suspension of participation in the CFE Treaty.

On its official website, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the aggressor country reported that the country "finally said goodbye to the CFE Treaty without regret and with full confidence in its rightness." Diplomats acknowledged that the Russian Federation had both positive and negative consequences of participating in this agreement. All this experience will be taken into account, the statement said.

Simultaneously with the CFE Treaty, two other legal agreements related to the document have ceased to be valid for Russia. These are the so-called Budapest Agreement of November 3, 1990 (on maximum levels for conventional weapons and equipment of the six Warsaw Pact states) and the so-called Flank Document of May 31, 1996.

Moscow pointed out that the CFE Treaty was concluded at the end of the Cold War, a period when many other major agreements on key disarmament and arms control issues appeared.

"Not all of them have stood the test of time, but at that stage, they played a certain stabilizing role," the Kremlin believes.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the aggressor country recognized that the CFE Treaty had provided Russia with material security guarantees for some time.

"For example, it allowed the process of reductions to be mutual rather than unilateral, involving NATO countries, primarily Germany; the combined potential of the then members of the alliance was to some extent limited and brought under control," the diplomats explained.

Later, however, the agreement (especially the flanking restrictions) ceased to meet Russia's interests. They say that the United States launched the process of NATO expansion, and the countries of the military bloc "began to openly circumvent the group restrictions of the treaty."

Of course, Moscow blamed the West for everything. However, according to the terrorist state's Foreign Ministry, Western countries "overestimated the possibilities of influencing Russia and the degree of our interest in the treaty."

In 2007, the Russian authorities announced that they were terminating the CFE Treaty. After the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Finland's admission to NATO, and the continuing consideration of a similar application by Sweden, "even the formal preservation of the CFE Treaty has become unacceptable from the point of view of Russia's fundamental security interests," the Foreign Ministry said.

They also complained that "no arms control agreements with them [Western countries] are possible."

A little later, the NATO press service reported that all member states of the alliance intend to suspend the CFE Treaty "for as long as necessary in accordance with their rights under international law."

The military bloc added that it will continue to consult and assess the implications of the current security environment and its impact on the alliance.

The United Kingdom also issued a statement in response to Russia's withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. London criticized Moscow's decision.

"We unequivocally condemn Russia's decision to withdraw from the Treaty, the latest in a series of Russian efforts to undermine the strategic stability and architecture of Euro-Atlantic security," British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

He added that Russia's unilateral decision undermines the principle of reciprocity that underlies the CFE Treaty.

The United Kingdom, along with its allies, has suspended participation in the treaty and will work with like-minded countries to develop and implement "voluntary stabilization measures."

As OBOZ.UA previously reported, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin recently signed a law revoking the ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test Ban Treaty. The Kremlin said that such a step would allegedly "level the playing field in terms of nuclear testing for Russia and the United States."

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