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Russia not planning to quit CFE

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said that his country is not planning to quit the Conventional Forces treaty in Europe (CFE).

Vienna is to host a conference to discuss the issue on June 12-15 . The emergency conference was requested by Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow could withdraw from the pact arguing that it had not been ratified by any NATO member state.

Lavrov said Russia would not raise the issue of withdrawal from the CFE treaty at the conference. "This conference has been called so that we can once again spell out our concerns," he told a news conference after his trip to South Korea.

The CFE pact originally signed in 1990 limits the number of battle tanks, heavy artillery, combat aircraft and attack helicopters deployed and stored between the Atlantic and Russia's Ural mountains.

In 1999, Russia proposed an amendment to the treaty but Western partners refused to sign it calling on Russia to pull its forces out of Georgia and Moldova. Lavrov rejected any links between the future of the Russian forces in Georgia and Moldova and the CFE treaty. "Such linkage has no legal force," he said.

Russia has opposed a US-NATO plan to replace Russian soldiers with an international force in the region. Russia says US plans to open bases for several thousand soldiers in Romania and Bulgaria this year are in breach of the CFE.

The issue comes amid tensions between US and Russia over US plans to deploy a missile shield in Eastern Europe. Disagreements over the pact are likely to be discussed at the G8 summit in Germany.

Source: PressTV


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