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MOSCOW, March 12. /TASS/. The unconstructive stance by Western countries on security in Europe has led to a critical reduction in the number of tools to ensure security on the continent, head of the International Affairs Committee at the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev wrote in his blog on Thursday, commenting on the suspension of Russia’s participation in a consultative group on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).
The senator reminded that "by the mid-2000s of the 30 countries that signed the treaty it was ratified by just four, including Russia. None of the NATO member states did that, Kosachev said, adding that it was "a vivid example of who blocked the process and who displayed confidence in partners".
NATO armaments in Europe exceeded Russia’s stockpiles by almost three times, the senator said. Nevertheless, the West used the situation around Ukraine to boost its military potential in Europe, huge as it is now, "demonstrating its determination to counter the mythical Russian aggression", Kosachev said.
"It is to be regretted that the shortsighted and inflexible position by our Western counterparts has led to a very dangerous situation," the senator wrote, noting that "the number of verification and deterrence mechanisms in Europe that could ensure peace for everyone was critically low".
On Tuesday, Russia announced it would suspend its participation in the Joint Consultative Group on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as of March 11. The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the decision finalized the suspension of the CFE treaty declared by Russia in 2007.
"The move doesn’t signify Russia’s refusal to maintain further dialogue over conventional weapons control in Europe," head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna talks on military security and arms control Anton Mazur said. "We are prepared for joint work on a new conventional arms control treaty that would serve the interests of both Russia and other European countries", he added.