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Russia to clarify its position on CFE Treaty at conference expected in late June

The head of the Russian delegation at the talks in Vienna on military security and arms control, Konstantin Gavrilov, added that the procedure for denouncing the treaty will end on November 7

MOSCOW, June 9. /TASS/. A special conference on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), where Russia will make its position clear to member states, is expected to be held in Vienna by the end of June, Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control, said in a televised interview with the Rossiya-24 news channel on Friday.

"The procedure [for denunciation of the CFE treaty] will end on November 7 after a conference which is still to be scheduled. The conference is highly likely to take place here, in Vienna, sometime before the end of June," he said.

"We are getting ready for it and are consulting with the Belarusians. We will stick to the same position, as the Belarusians remain in the treaty for now. No amount of pressure or their (Western - TASS) entreaties will do any good," Gavrilov added.

On May 29, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill on Russia’s withdrawal from the CFE Treaty into law and it entered into force on June 9. Under the withdrawal procedure, Russia will eventually quit the CFE Treaty on November 7, 2023, and afterwards the treaty will de facto cease to exist.

The CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 and adapted in 1997. However, NATO countries did not ratify the adapted version of the CFE and have continued to adhere to the 1990 provisions, based on the conventional arms balance between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. As a result, Russia was compelled to declare a moratorium on implementing the terms of the treaty in 2007.

On March 11, 2015, Russia suspended its participation in meetings of the Joint Consultative Group on the CFE Treaty, completing the process of suspending its membership in the CFE while remaining a purely de jure party to the treaty. Since then, Belarus has represented Russia’s interests in the Joint Consultative Group.