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Russian diplomat urges new treaty on conventional arms in Europe

A Russian diplomat says Russia ready to discuss the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

 MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) is still in force, but it is necessary to have a qualitatively new document on the topic, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Mikhail Ulyanov told a news conference on Friday.

"CFE is not dead, it remains in force for 25 countries," he said, "but for us it is dead, including also its adopted variant of 1999. "We need to have a qualitatively new treaty."

He said some time earlier Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier published an article, in which he called for resuming a dialogue on this topic to avoid further escalation of tension in Europe.

"Our position is as follows: we, minding the negative experience in the past, shall not come with an initiative," the Russian official said. "But if this is done by somebody else, we are open for discussions. This position remains."

"Will Germany’s allies allow beginning of the process - I am not sure that all members of the North Atlantic alliance are ready to support the German initiative," he said. "But the ball is not on our field."

The diplomat said he personally liked the initiative from the German foreign minister.

"A dialogue is anyway better than a lack of it," he said.