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Russia says no info exchange with NATO under arms treaty freeze

RIA Novosti

14/12/2007 11:03 VIENNA, December 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will not provide data on its Armed Forces stipulated under the CFE treaty at an annual information exchange meeting on Friday, a Russian diplomatic source said.

The signatories to the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty will gather in Austrian capital, Vienna, to exchange documents containing data on the number of main battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery pieces, combat aircraft and attack helicopters deployed in Europe.

"Russia's moratorium on its participation in the CFE treaty makes this information exchange impossible for us," said a Russian source at the headquarters of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Russia's unilateral moratorium on the CFE treaty came into force immediately after midnight on Wednesday.

"At the same time we do not have plans in the current circumstances for a massive build-up or concentration of forces on our neighbors' borders," a foreign ministry statement earlier said.

NATO said in a statement that it regretted Russia's decision to impose a moratorium on the arms reductions treaty, which the West regards as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security, and urged Moscow to reverse its decision.

Moscow considers the original CFE treaty, signed in December 1990 by 16 NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact members, to be discriminatory and outdated since it does not reflect the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the breakup of the Soviet Union, or recent NATO expansion.

Russia has urged NATO countries to ratify the adapted version of the treaty, signed on November 19, 1999 and so far ratified only by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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