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  Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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NATO hopes the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty will remain
NATO hopes the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty will remain in force and an adapted treaty ratified, the bloc's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Russia's lower house of parliament unanimously voted in favor of President Vladimir Putin's bill to impose a moratorium on the arms reduction treaty. The moratorium on the arms reduction pact will take effect on December 12, after final approval by the upper house of parliament, which is expected to vote on the issue on November 16.

James Appathurai told a news conference in Brussels that NATO member-countries favored ratification of an adapted CFE treaty as soon as possible, providing Russia honors its Istanbul commitments. He stressed that all NATO nations had met their commitments under the CFE Treaty.

According to NATO official data, since the CFE Treaty entered into force in 1992, the destruction of over 60,000 pieces of treaty-limited equipment (tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery, attack helicopters and combat aircraft) has been verified and over 3,500 on-site inspections have been conducted.

However, Russia insists that the current CFE treaty is outdated since it does not reflect the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the breakup of the Soviet Union, or recent NATO expansion. NATO countries have insisted on Russia's withdrawal from Transdnestr and other breakaway post-Soviet regions as a condition for their ratification of the CFE Treaty.

During Wednesday's parliamentary hearings, senior Russian military commanders reiterated the importance of revising the CFE Treaty and again called on NATO members to ratify its amended version.

Russia's chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Yury Baluyevsky said the current treaty favored the U.S. and NATO because it allowed them to implement an "eastward expansion" strategy and monitor Russian troops in the European part of Russia.

He also said any possible future dismantling of the treaty would not affect Russia as much as it would affect Europe.

"Russia has a sufficient arsenal of forces, means, and resources to ensure its security and national interests," Baluyevsky said.


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