WORLD / Europe
NATO urges Russia to rescind decision to suspend CFE treaty
Updated: 2007-12-13 14:38
BRUSSELS - NATO on Wednesday urged Russia to "rescind" its decision to suspend implementation of obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty and not to take further steps that would undermine the future of the CFE regime.
"NATO Allies deeply regret that the Russian Federation has proceeded with its intention to unilaterally 'suspend' implementation of CFE Treaty obligations as of December 12, 2007," said the military alliance in a statement after Moscow's latest move concerning the arms control regime.
"NATO Allies continue to place the highest value on the CFE Treaty regime with all its elements and underscore its strategic importance as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security," it added.
Russia suspended its obligations under the CFE treaty at midnight Wednesday according to a law signed by President Vladimir Putin.
After the suspension, Russia will temporarily cease to release information and accept inspections, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The suspension also means that Russia will no longer be bound by any limitations on conventional arms and their concrete numbers will depend on the evolution of the military-political situation, the statement added.
The statement also said Russia would not immediately increase the strength of its Armed Forces along its borders, but would not hesitate to do so if the need arises.
NATO said Russia's "suspension" is a unilateral measure not provided for under the terms of the CFE Treaty. "This step does not contribute to the long-term viability of the CFE Treaty and we urge the Russian Federation to rescind its decision," it said in the statement.
NATO urged Russia to implement existing obligations in full and "not to take further steps that would undermine the future of the CFE regime."
"We encourage the Russian authorities to work cooperatively with us to resolve outstanding concerns of all States Parties (to the treaty)," said the statement.
In the meantime, NATO said it noted "Russia's stated commitment to the CFE regime and its statement that it does not presently intend to withdraw from the Treaty."