The NATO allies served notice to formally suspend their participation in a 1990 treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe, a move which many fear is a major step towards WW3.
The NATO statement said:
“NATO condemns Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) and “intend to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty for as long as necessary.”
Russia formally withdrew from the landmark security treaty, which limited key categories of conventional armed forces.
Moscow blamed the United States for undermining post-Cold War security by increasing its NATO military alliance.
NEW – United States, NATO will formally suspend their participation in a 1990 treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe — WSJ— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 7, 2023
Calling it “history,” Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the treaty was not catering to Russia’s interests, adding that NATO countries began to circumvent restrictions imposed as the US-led military alliance expanded.
The move comes less than a week after President Vladimir Putin revoked his country’s ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), which outlaws all nuclear weapon tests, and test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads from one of its submarines.
What is the CFE?
Signed in 1990, just a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the CFE set constraints on conventional arms and equipment.
Its purpose was to stop Cold War rivals from building up forces that could be used in a swift assault. The pact was unpopular at the time in Moscow, which had the upper hand in conventional weaponry.
NATO says Russia has not respected the terms of the treaty for many years, pointing to suspending participation in 2007 and halting active participation in 2015.
“The CFE Treaty was concluded at the end of the Cold War, when the formation of a new architecture of global and European security based on cooperation seemed possible, and appropriate attempts were made,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
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“Even the formal preservation of the CFE Treaty has become unacceptable from the point of view of Russia’s fundamental security interests,” the ministry added, noting that the US and its allies did not ratify an updated version of the accord in 1999.
NATO had previously condemned Russia’s decision to exit the CFE, saying it undermined Euro-Atlantic security.
“Russia has for many years not complied with its CFE obligations,” NATO said in June.
“Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, and Belarus’ complicity, is contrary to the objectives of the CFE Treaty.”
The news comes just 24 hours after the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) confirmed one of its largest Ohio-class submarines, armed with nuclear weapons, arrived in the Middle East over the weekend.
US Central Command wrote on X/Twitter:
“On November 5, 2023, an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the US Central Command area of responsibility.”
On November 5, 2023, an Ohio-class submarine arrived in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. pic.twitter.com/iDgUFp4enp— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) November 5, 2023
The Ohio-class submarines are the largest built by the US Navy, measuring 560 feet long and 42 feet wide, and displace 18,750 tons when submerged in water.