The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, has passed a bill for the denunciation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).
“[Russia’s] definitive withdrawal from the CFE Treaty and its denunciation fully correspond to the national interest of ensuring Russia’s security,” said Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR).
State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said that, in making the decision to formally denounce the CFE Treaty, the deputies (members of the Duma) had been guided by the interests of Russia’s citizenry. “Washington and Brussels, obsessed with the idea of building a unipolar world and expanding NATO to the east, have destroyed the global system for ensuring security. When establishing NATO back in 1949, the founding members of the North Atlantic Alliance announced that they were doing so for purely defensive purposes. But, in actual fact, the bloc has turned out to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It has done nothing but attack and advance, bringing suffering to people and destroying countries: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Iraq and Syria,” Volodin wrote on his Telegram channel.
“Washington, using NATO [as its tool] and pumping the terrorist Kiev regime with weapons, is destabilizing the situation in the world in order to preserve its own hegemonic position. This is provoking a global catastrophe,” the Duma speaker lamented.
Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the document to the State Duma last week.
The CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 and adapted in 1997. However, NATO countries did not ratify the adapted version of the document and have continued to adhere to the 1990 provisions, based on the conventional arms balance between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. As a result, Russia was compelled to declare a moratorium on implementing the terms of the treaty in 2007.
On March 11, 2015, Russia suspended its participation in meetings of the Joint Consultative Group on the CFE Treaty, completing the process of suspending its membership in the CFE while remaining a purely de jure party to the treaty. Since then, Belarus has represented Russia’s interests in the Joint Consultative Group.