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Russia freezes CFE-related data provision, yet open to dialogue-1

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Russia will freeze data provision and inspections as part of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, but will be open to further dialogue, the country's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.
(Adds details, background, Foreign Ministry quote in paras 3-7)

MOSCOW, July 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will freeze data provision and inspections as part of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, but will be open to further dialogue, the country's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The statement followed a moratorium on honoring the CFE treaty decreed Saturday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia will consider the international agreements frozen 150 days after all participants in the CFE treaty have received notices from the country.

"Upon President Putin's instructions the Russian Foreign Ministry will circulate relevant notices July 14, 2007," the body said in a statement.

Among other things, Russia will not comply with any conventional arms limits, the Foreign Ministry said, however, the amount of Russian weapons will depend on the situation in the military and political spheres.

Ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker of the lower house of Russia's parliament, proposed Saturday that the State Duma hold an emergency session to adopt a draft law on freezing the CFE treaty.

Russia considers the 1990 CFE treaty outdated since it does not reflect either the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact or the breakup of the Soviet Union. Unlike NATO, the country also signed an upgraded CFE treaty in 1999.

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