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    New CFE Treaty May Bring Trust Between West, Russia - OSCE Representative

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    A new dialogue between Russia and the West on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty could bring the opportunity to re-build trust between them.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A renewed dialogue between Europe, the United States and Russia on the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty could provide the opportunity to rebuild trust between them, German Organization for Security and Co-operation (OSCE) Permanent Representative Rudiger Ludeking said on Tuesday.

    “I have deplored the fact that Russia has withdrawn from the Joint Consultative Group,” Ludeking stated at an OSCE conference in Washington, DC.

    Russia announced on March 10 that it was suspending participation in the CFE Treaty, citing various loopholes that resulted in the expansion of NATO and ratification delays.

    “At the same time, I think Russia has stressed that it stands ready to have a dialogue on the revitalizing of the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe [Treaty],” Ludeking said.

    Reengaging in a discussion to address the concerns held by both Russia and the West on the CFE Treaty is “in the interest of all parties with a view to avoid any miscalculation,” he added.

    The German representative singled out the CFE arms control agreement as an area where nations with often opposing and skeptical views of one another can “achieve trust in the face of adversity,” referring to the decline in relations between the West and Russia over the Ukrainian conflict.

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    Rebuilding trust through verifiable arms control agreements is one channel by which the United States, Europe and Russia can “contribute to the de-escalation of situation that is quite dangerous,” Ludeking said.

    On March 11, the head of the Russian delegation at Vienna talks on military security and arms control, Anton Mazur, noted that Russia is “still open to joint work” on conventional arms in Europe “that will suit the interests of Russia and other European countries.”

    The original CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 by 16 NATO and six Warsaw Pact member countries, setting equal limits for each bloc on five key categories of conventional armaments and military hardware.



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