Moscow has announced it is “completely” ending activities under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). Russia’s participation in the treaty was first halted in 2007.
“The Russian Federation has taken the decision to halt its participation in meetings of the [consulting group] from March 11, 2015. Therefore, Russia is ending its actions in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, announced in 2007, completely,” a statement from the Foreign Ministry said.
Moscow has asked Belarus to represent Russia’s interests in the group starting from Wednesday, the statement said.
The original CFE Treaty, signed in 1990 by 16 NATO and six Warsaw Pact, set equal ceilings for each bloc on key categories of conventional armaments, with tanks, combat armored vehicles, artillery, assault helicopters and combat aircraft among them. For instance, under the treaty, each side is supposed to have no more than 16,500 tanks or 27,300 armored combat vehicles in active units.
Meanwhile, Norway has started military exercises in its northernmost province, which borders Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Called ‘Joint Viking,’ the one-week war games involve 5,000 Norwegian troops and 400 vehicles, the largest military training exercise in nearly 50 years in the country, which has been promoting closer military cooperation with NATO member states after escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.
Full article: Russia ‘completely ending’ activities under Conventional Armed Forces in Europe treaty (Russia Today)