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Sep. 20, 2007
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State Duma Condemns CFE Treaty
Russias parliament, the State Duma, focused yesterday on suspension of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). The bill of President Vladimir Putin enjoyed predictable and strong support of legislators and military.
Inked in 1990 by 22 states of the Warsaw Treaty and NATO, the CFE Treaty imposed limits on the strength of troops and military machinery in Europe. But the transition of some Warsaw Treaty members to NATO created a sort of disbalance, and an Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe with limits specified not for the blocs but for the states was sealed in Istanbul in November 1999. But NATO conditioned ratification of that document to withdrawal of Russias troops from Georgia and Moldova, so of all states, only Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine have ratified the Adaptation Agreement.

Russias President Vladimir Putin held up the CFE Treaty in mid.-June and brought in to the State Duma the bill on its suspension on July 27. Yesterday, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Kislyak explained to legislators that the purpose of that decision of president was not withdrawing from the Treaty but rather suspending the document of 1990 to speed up ratification of Istanbul Agreement by the NATO states.

If a treaty doesnt ensure stability and predictability for Russia, what for will we remain in its framework? the diplomat posed a rhetorical question.

The response of the deputies to presidents initiative wasnt surprising. The Treaty is hopelessly out of date, announced Konstantin Kosachev, who heads State Dumas Foreign Committee. The CFE Treaty is one of the family of treaties that Gorbachev concluded in haste, when the country was on its knees already, agreed State Dumas member Sergey Abeltsev.

All the Article in Russian as of Sep. 20, 2007

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