NewsMoscow abandons CFE treaty, blames U.S. and NATO for security breach

Moscow abandons CFE treaty, blames U.S. and NATO for security breach

President of Russia Vladimir Putin
President of Russia Vladimir Putin
Images source: © PAP | MIKHAIL METZEL/KREMLIN / POOL
ed. MMIK
12:03 PM EST, November 7, 2023

Russia has officially pulled out of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), a landmark agreement signed in 1990 towards the close of the Cold War. Moscow states that the expansion of NATO with additional members influenced its decision to withdraw. The final exit from the agreement has been years in the making.

Russia accuses the United States and NATO of compromising its security, despite the treaty having been signed a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The treaty stipulates that no party should amass forces with the potential to launch a swift offensive against others. Russia found these conditions unfavorable, as they reduced the Soviet Union's superiority in conventional weaponry over other European nations.

Russia holds NATO accountable

As per a Reuters report citing the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow officially pulled out of the treaty on Tuesday at midnight Eastern Time, consigning it to history. Russia asserts that the United States should shoulder the blame for violating the agreement's rules through the expansion of NATO, especially concerning Sweden and Finland.

"Even upholding the CFE treaty in formality won't align with Russia's fundamental security interests," stated the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

"Russia failed to meet its obligations"

Moscow had already suspended its participation in the treaty in 2007, later announcing in 2023 that it would completely withdraw from the agreement within the year. NATO condemned this decision, claiming it posed a threat to Euro-Atlantic security.

The U.S. and NATO ceased observing the treaty's conditions with regard to Russia in 2011, following the State Department's direction.

"Russia failed to uphold its obligations under the CFE for many years," NATO stated in June. "Russia's war against Ukraine and Belarus's complicity conflict with the CFE treaty's objectives," it further remarked.

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