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Russia Formally Withdraws from CFE Treaty, Rejects Arms Control Agreements with NATO

Russia has officially completed its withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), as announced by the Moscow Foreign Ministry on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. The withdrawal, initially suspended by Russia in 2007, marks the end of Russia’s participation in the international legal framework. Russia has also expressed a lack of confidence in the possibility of reaching arms control agreements with NATO countries, citing their inability to negotiate.

As a result, the termination of the CFE has severed two related agreements for Russia: the Budapest Memorandum of November 3, 1990, which specified maximum levels of conventional weaponry for six Warsaw Pact nations, and the Flank Agreement of May 31, 1996, which amended the original treaty.

The CFE, originally signed in 1990, aimed to regulate conventional military forces in Europe and has been in effect since 1992. This development could have significant implications for European security and arms control efforts.