- Russia withdraws from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty
- He accuses the United States of undermining security
- Russia says NATO’s expansion has made the treaty history
- NATO has condemned Russia’s exit from the treaty
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia on Tuesday formally withdrew from a landmark security treaty that imposed restrictions on key categories of conventional armed forces and blamed the United States for undermining post-Cold War security with NATO’s military expansion.
The 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, signed a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, set verifiable limits on the categories of conventional military equipment that NATO and the then Warsaw Pact could deploy.
The treaty was intended to prevent either side of the Cold War from amassing forces to launch a rapid attack against the other in Europe, but it was unpopular in Moscow because it weakened the Soviet Union’s superiority in conventional weapons.
Russia suspended its participation in the treaty in 2007 and ceased its active participation in 2015. More than a year after the all-out invasion of Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin in May signed a decree denouncing the treaty.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia officially withdrew from the agreement at midnight, and that the treaty was now “history.”
“The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty was concluded at the end of the Cold War, when the formation of a new structure of global and European security based on cooperation seemed possible, and appropriate attempts were made,” the ministry said.
Russia said the US push to expand NATO had led to NATO countries “openly circumventing” the group’s restrictions imposed by the treaty, adding that Finland’s admission into NATO and Sweden’s request meant the treaty was dead.
“Even the formal preservation of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty has become unacceptable from the point of view of Russia’s fundamental security interests,” the ministry said, noting that the United States and its allies had not ratified the updated 1999 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.
The war in Ukraine sparked the worst crisis in Moscow’s relations with the West since the depths of the Cold War. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said over the weekend that relations with the United States were below zero.
After Russia announced its intention to exit the treaty this year, NATO condemned the decision, saying it undermines Euro-Atlantic security.
He added, “Russia has not complied for many years with its obligations related to the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.” NATO said in June. “Russia’s aggressive war on Ukraine, and Belarus’s complicity, are inconsistent with the objectives of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty.”
The United States and its allies had linked the ratification of the 1999 Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe to Russia’s fulfillment of its obligations regarding Georgia and Moldova. Russia said this link was wrong.
In 2011, in response to the Russian “suspension”, which Washington said was illegal under the treaty, the United States and NATO stopped implementing it with respect to Russia, in accordance with the treaty. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The State Department said, “Russia’s suspension of implementation of the Treaty since 2007 has seriously eroded the Treaty’s verifiability, reduced transparency, and undermined the cooperative approach to security that has been a key element of the relationship between NATO, Russia, and European security for more than two decades.” The ministry said in 2020.
(Reporting by Lydia Kelly in Melbourne and Guy Faulconbridge in Moscow – Prepared by Muhammad for the Arabic Bulletin) Editing by Gerry Doyle
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