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Netherlands okays CFE Treaty conference

RIA Novosti

29/05/2007 15:52 THE HAGUE, May 29 (RIA Novosti) - An emergency conference of signatories to the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty will be held within the next 15 days, a Dutch Foreign Ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

The Netherlands as the designated Depositary for the Treaty decides on the convocation of emergency conferences.

He said the conference, requested by Russia, would be chaired, on a rotation basis, by Luxembourg, adding that the final date and venue have yet to be established.

Russia proposed Monday conducting an urgent CFE Treaty conference in Vienna June 12-15.

Russia has ratified the adapted CFE Treaty, which replaced an agreement reached at the end of the Cold War between NATO and the Eastern Bloc to curb the arms race, but of the countries that initially signed the pact, no NATO members have yet ratified it, demanding that Russia first withdraw from Soviet-era bases in Georgia and Moldova under the Istanbul Agreements.

President Vladimir Putin suggested recently that Moscow might suspend its obligations under the accord if talks with NATO countries show no visible progress in its implementation.

First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said earlier this month that Russia would no longer inform NATO states about movements of troops on its territory, as required by the CFE Treaty.

The original CFE Treaty, amended in 1999 in Istanbul in line with post-Cold War realities, has so far only been ratified by Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine.

Moscow has pointed out that NATO newcomers Slovakia and the three Baltic States have not joined the CFE treaty, despite their pledge to do so.


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