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WASHINGTON, December 16 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia calmly reacted to the U.S. decision to stop exchanging information with Moscow over the compliance with the Conventional Forces Europe (CFE) Treaty as it obtains the necessary information through other channels, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.
The U.S. decision “has absolutely no meaning for us,” he told reporters on Thursday after a session of the bilateral working group co-chaired by U.S. Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher.
“We receive the necessary data to analyze the military-political situation through other channels, including global exchange of military information and in the framework of the Vienna document on enhanced measures of trust,” he said.
Ryabkov recalled the 1999 Vienna document was updated at the recent OSCE summit in Vilnius. “It is fully sufficient for us,” he said.
“Therefore, it does not affect our interests whether NATO countries provide CFE information to us or not. It is the sovereign decision of NATO members and we accept it as it is, as a factor of life. We shall continue to stick to our own moratorium (on CFE compliance),” Ryabkov said.
He and Tauscher discussed strategic stability issues, conventional forces, space issues, the prohibition of biological and toxic weapons, and the review conference currently under way in Geneva.
“I cannot say there were any breakthroughs and we did not have such aims before us,” Ryabkov said, but added he was satisfied with the results of the talks.