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Russia: NATO must get real over arms control

Russia's Foreign Minister has said the main reason for Moscow's suspension of a key European arms treaty was that NATO countries had refused to ratify it. Sergey Lavrov was speaking after talks with NATO officials in Brussels. However, he said the CFE t

Lavrov said that Russia could only rejoin the treaty on a basis that was ‘not absurd, but realistic and mutually acceptable’.

The Russian Foreign Minister's comments came after talks with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.

Lavrov also warned that giving independence to Kosovo could send the wrong signal to other separatist regions, including Georgia’s republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Lavrov said it’s not up to the West to decide whether or not Kosovo will become a “precedent”: “It will be a precedent just because it happened,” he said.

Russia's top diplomat said that “the whole question of conventional forces in Europe” had been “deadlocked” for years.

“We have to make sure that CFE treaty is complied with. Because it wasn't complied with, we decided to suspended participation in it on December 12,” Lavrov said.


Lavrov said both sides had to work towards “reconsidering the CFE Treaty” in order to reach “some kind of common agreement”. 


“And as soon as our concerns are taken on board, a new treaty will be enabled on a realistic basis, not absurd,” he added.


Although differences still exist, Lavrov insisted that overall Russia's collaboration with NATO was successful.