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Moscow to take part in CFE treaty conference - despite moratorium

Russia is to take part in the upcoming conference on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, despite its previous decision to put its participation in the treaty on hold. The statement comes from the Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Kislyak.

The conference is to take place in Germany at the beginning of October.

In July, President Putin declared a moratorium on Russia's compliance with the CFE. It came after a tense conference in Vienna, where NATO member-states refused to ratify the amended version of the document.

The ball is in our partners' court now. They have plenty of time to revise their age-old destructive policy on the treaty and to renew talks with Russia as partners, not as adversaries.

Konstantin Kosachev, Chairman,
State Duma’s Committee
on International Issues

And the Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on International Issues, Konstantin Kosachev, said on Wednesday during a parliamentary hearing that the issue of the moratorium is not irreversible.

The 1990 landmark arms control agreement established a military balance between NATO member-states and the former Communist block. Essentially, the treaty agrees the number of tanks, aircraft and other military hardware that can be deployed by countries in Europe.

Nine years later it was updated to adapt it to post-Cold-War realities.

The adapted CFE cannot come into force until all 30 countries ratify it. Russia has already done so, but NATO members have not.

They say they will, but only after Russia fulfils its obligation to withdraw its forces from Georgia and Moldova. Russia says it has since complied.

Some experts see the moratorium as a response to Washington’s plans to deploy elements of its anti-missile shield in Eastern Europe.