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NATO hopes Russia remains in CFE treaty

RIA Novosti

26/06/2007 18:33

MOSCOW, June 26 (RIA Novosti) - NATO hopes Russia will not quit the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, the alliance's secretary general told journalists Tuesday.

A problem overshadowing cooperation between Russia and NATO is the bloc's refusal to ratify an updated version of the Soviet-era CFE treaty, aimed at regulating the deployment of non-nuclear weapons on the continent.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow that he hoped all steps would be made under the adapted CFE treaty.

Scheffer said NATO's position did not completely coincide with Russia's position. He said the CFE treaty was the cornerstone of European security and should remain as such. He also said the treaty did not envision a moratorium.

Putin has threatened to impose a moratorium on Russia's participation in the crucial arms reduction accord, linking ratification delays to the planned deployment of a U.S. missile shield in Europe and the expected opening of new NATO bases in Bulgaria and Romania.

NATO states have argued that Russia should first withdraw its troops from Moldova and Georgia before the alliance's members ratify the amended CFE treaty, while Moscow insists the issues are unrelated.

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