NATO Freezes Key Treaty as Russia Exits - What's Next?

World » RUSSIA | November 7, 2023, Tuesday // 16:58
Bulgaria: NATO Freezes Key Treaty as Russia Exits - What's Next?

NATO has strongly condemned Russia's withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), a historic document that played a crucial role in balancing arms control between NATO and former Warsaw Pact states after the Cold War. The treaty, signed in 1990, aimed to maintain stability and limit the deployment of conventional military equipment in Europe. On Tuesday, Moscow formally withdrew from the CFE treaty, citing concerns over the expansion of NATO, especially regarding Finland and Sweden.

NATO issued a statement expressing its strong disapproval of Russia's decision to withdraw from the treaty and its aggressive actions against Ukraine, which contradicted the treaty's objectives. In response to Russia's withdrawal, NATO has decided to suspend the CFE Treaty, with the support of all NATO member states. This suspension will remain in place for as long as necessary, in accordance with international law.

The CFE Treaty, originally designed to prevent either side of the Cold War from amassing forces for a quick offensive in Europe, faced challenges over the years. While it played a vital role in promoting transparency and cooperation, it also faced opposition, especially from Moscow. In 2007, Russia froze its participation in the treaty and later suspended it in 2015.

In response, the United States and NATO ceased to apply the CFE Treaty to Russia in 2011, arguing that Russia's "suspension" was not legally valid. This move severely undermined treaty verification, transparency, and the cooperative approach to European security.

The withdrawal from the CFE Treaty is just one aspect of the complex relationship between Russia and NATO. The matter is further complicated by Russia's claims of NATO's expansion and NATO's expectations of Russia fulfilling commitments to Georgia and Moldova as a condition for ratifying the 1999 CFE Treaty.

The suspension of the CFE Treaty marks a significant development in the evolving security landscape of Europe and may have broader implications for regional stability.

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Tags: NATO, CFE, Russia, security

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