Just days ahead of a parliamentary vote, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has ratified a law suspending Russia’s participation in a key arms deal. The Kremlin argues that the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, originally negotiated during the Cold War between members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, is outdated.
Last updated in 1999, it limits the number of battle tanks, heavy artillery and combat aircraft deployed between the Atlantic and Russia’s Ural mountains. The West has refused to ratify an amended version until Russia pulls out of Georgia and Moldova.
The United States, the EU and NATO had urged Moscow not to pull out of the treaty, seen as a cornerstone of European security.
The suspension, which will come into effect from mid-December, would allow Moscow to heavily boost military deployment, though Russian generals have said there are no immediate plans to do so.