US to cease observing arms treaty with Russia: State Dept
The United States said Tuesday it would no longer provide data to Russia on conventional weapons and troops in Europe, citing non-compliance by Moscow with a two-decade old treaty that governed the information exchange.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States will cease to observe the provisions of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).
Adopted in November 1990, it was seen as a groundbreaking accord credited with greatly advancing global security. But Russia suspended its observance of the treaty in 2007.
"This is an issue that we've been working on ever since the Russians withdrew," Nuland told reporters.
"After four years of Russian non-implementation and after repeated efforts... to save the treaty, we think it's important to take some counter-measures vis-a-vis Russia," she said.
The US will now no longer accept Russian inspection of its bases.
Despite Moscow's non-compliance, the United States and allies had also continued to meet the treaty's obligations by giving Moscow data on their forces over the past four years, but that will also stop.
The CFE treaty signed in Paris aimed to establish military parity and stability in the conventional military forces and equipment of Europe between the NATO countries and those of the Warsaw bloc.
The accord set ceilings on troops and weapons, and created unprecedented provisions for the exchange of information, bilateral inspections and onsite monitoring of the destruction of weapons.
"The US will not accept Russian inspections of our bases under the CFE, and we will also not provide Russia with the annual notifications of military data called for in the treaty," Nuland said.
"It's our understanding that a number, if not all US NATO allies will do the same," the chief US diplomatic spokeswoman said.
But she added: "Our door remains open to resolve these issues."
© 2011 AFP