Russia's upper house approves moratorium on CFE Treaty

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Moscow, Nov 16 (UNI) The Federation Council, upper house of Russian parliament, approved the bill introducing a moratorium on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.

The moratorium will come into force on December 12.

The bill suspending the treaty was forwarded to parliament by President Vladimir Putin.

During the debate before the vote in house, Chief of Russian Armed Forces' General Staff Gen Yury Baluyevsky said NATO officials understand that Moscow's decision to impose a moratorium on Russia's participation in the CFE Treaty is legitimate.

''Basically, NATO officials understand the legitimacy of Russia's move. We are not shutting the doors completely,'' Baluyevsky said.

''They (NATO and the US) were hoping to the last minute that Russia would soften its stance, that it would not adopt the moratorium,'' Interfax news agency quoted him as saying.

''But we must make this step. The article two of the Treaty allows the head of state to decide to suspend Russia's participation in the CFE,'' Baluyevsky said.

''Russia has made absolutely the right step both from the political and the military points of view,'' he said.

He also reiterated that the upcoming moratorium does not imply a Russian pullout from the CFE Treaty, saying Moscow will resume its implementation of the pact as soon as NATO countries ratify the modified version.

UNI

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