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    MOSCOW SEES NO ALTERNATIVE TO ADAPTATION OF CONVENTIONAL FORCES IN EUROPE TREATY

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 31. (RIA NOVOSTI). -- Moscow sees no alternative to the coming into force of the adapted Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, Alexander Yakovenko, official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told RIA Novosti in an interview on Wednesday.

    "For movements in this direction we need above all guarantees that the Treaty will become effective", Alexander Yakovenko said.

    The official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry recalled that four out of the seven new members of NATO (Baltic countries and Slovenia) are members of the Treaty. Thus, the contractual obligations on the limitation of forces in Europe do not involve them. "A grey zone uncovered by the tough arms control is emerging on Russia's north-western borders", the diplomat said.

    According to Alexander Yakovenko, Moscow is interested in gaining Latvia's, Lithuania's, Estonia's and Slovenia's earliest joining in the Treaty on the conditions guaranteeing the security interests of Russia and the maintenance of stability in individual regions and Europe as a whole.

    The official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that Russia also needs guarantees that the four non-members of the Treaty will join it as soon as possible.

    The Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty was signed in 1990 by the countries of NATO and the Warsaw Pact and came into force in November 1992.

    In view of the changes in the military-political situation in Europe, in 1999 the agreement on the adaptation of the Treaty was signed in Istanbul. On the basis of the Istanbul document, a switchover is to be effected from the zonal-bloc structure of the Treaty to national and territorial limit levels.

    Only three states - Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan - have inked the agreement of the adaptation of the Treaty.

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