BERLIN, November 10. /TASS/. All major arms control mechanisms are now defunct after Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), so NATO needs to become stronger as a group, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said during a press conference in Berlin.
"This week, they [Russia] withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe," the NATO chief said, adding that "with this step Russia has walked away from every major arms control treaty."
Stoltenberg recalled that in February Russia suspended its participation in the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (known as the New START Treaty), which was "the last pact regulating the number of nuclear weapons between the United States and Russia."
In addition, Stoltenberg blamed Moscow for the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (known as the INF Treaty) being rendered "null and void."
"All of this makes the world more dangerous. And demonstrates the importance of a strong NATO," he said.
The NATO chief claimed that Russia was undermining NATO security "by demonstrating complete disregard for arms control."
The CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 and was later updated in 1997. However, NATO countries never ratified the modified version of the treaty, continuing to adhere to the 1990 provisions, which contain outdated conventional arms norms based on the balance between NATO and the now-defunct Warsaw Pact.
On May 29, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on the denunciation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), which took effect on June 9. Moscow has reiterated that the blame for the termination of the agreement would rest squarely upon the United States and its allies, who opted for confrontation.
On November 7, NATO countries announced their intention to indefinitely suspend their participation in the CFE Treaty after Russia had finalized its withdrawal from the agreement.