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Moscow's new ambassador to NATO has said Russia will maintain
Moscow's new ambassador to NATO has said Russia will maintain its moratorium on a major arms reduction treaty in Europe until NATO countries ratify its adapted version.

The Cold War-era Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, which regulates the deployment of non-nuclear weapons between the Atlantic and the Urals, has become a source of tension between Russia and NATO, with the Western alliance refusing to ratify its updated version and Russia subsequently imposing a moratorium on the treaty.

"We have suspended our participation in this one-sided and unfair treaty and we hope that our [NATO] partners ratify the adapted version of this agreement," Dmitry Rogozin told a news conference on Sunday after arriving at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

"Perhaps this will happen by the end of this year," he said.

Rogozin, 44, an outspoken nationalist former lawmaker described as a hawkish NATO opponent in the Western media, earlier called the 1990 treaty "completely outdated" and its flank limitations requirement "an anachronism of the Cold War."

He also said the current CFE only regulates land-based forces, "which is wrong, as naval forces in many NATO countries have considerable advantages over Russia's navy. Its adapted version should counterbalance these advantages."

Russia and the Western military bloc have scaled down military cooperation, but still conduct anti-terrorism patrols in the Mediterranean, exchange intelligence data and information on each other's air movements, and cooperate in the missile defense sphere and in fighting drug traffic from Afghanistan.

Rogozin reiterated on Sunday: "Russia and NATO should not exchange mutually unacceptable conditions, but focus on progress in areas that ensure positive results of military and non-military cooperation."

He added that NATO had issues that cannot be solved without Russia's participation, in particular the operation against Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

"Our main goal is to respect each other's interests and make the world more predictable and secure," the Russian diplomat said.

Rogozin, who was appointed to the post by President Vladimir Putin on January 9, will meet with the alliance's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer on Monday. On January 30, he will attend a session of the Russia-NATO Council.

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