12/12/2007, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Moscow suspends conventional forces treaty starting today

Russia’s Foreign Ministry announces that decision taken in July by Putin comes into effect over night, but adds that it does entail any major deployment of military forces. Decision is seen as a way to put pressure on NATO.

Moscow (AsiaNews) – Russia has suspended the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty as of midnight last night. The treaty placed limits on the deployment of tanks, planes and heavy weaponry on the Old Continent. The decision announced by President Vladimir Putin on July 13 was reiterated by Russia’s Foreign Ministry today.

Russia suspended all activities with regards to the application of the Treaty but it does “not have plans to amass and concentrate these weapons on the borders with our neighbours,” the Foreign Ministry said in a press release

The treaty no longer reflects reality and Russian interests on the ground but Moscow “is prepared for continuing a results-oriented dialogue,” it added.

The Russian statement does not make any reference to the fact that NATO countries have not ratified the 1999 revision to the 1990 treaty to reflect the shift in the military power balance after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

From a military point of view the decision means that the two sides will no longer share information as required by the treaty.

Politically, it puts pressure on the West after the United States decided to deploy an anti-missile system in former Soviet republics and satellite states in Europe.

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