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Proposed US Resolution Expresses Concern Over Moscow CFE Withdrawal

Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 01, 2007
A senior US legislator Wednesday introduced a resolution expressing strong concern with Russia's decision to withdraw from a key European arms control pact, the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty. Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings, Chairman of the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the US Helsinki Commission), called Moscow's move "troubling" and said it reflected as much domestic politics as it did serious Russian defense concerns.

"Russia's announcement regarding the unilateral suspension of the CFE treaty is quite troubling," Hastings said in a statement with the proposed resolution.

"Although it certainly reflects Moscow's discontent with the United States' plan to place missile defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, the decision appears to have a parallel purpose, which is to present President (Vladimir) Putin and his United Russia party as 'tough on the West,' as Russia moves toward parliamentary and presidential elections in December 2007 and March 2008 respectively."

But Hastings also said Moscow's move reflected Russian feelings that the CFE, which set comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry, was forced on them.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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