Russian withdraws from arms treaty

MOSCOW, July 14 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin Saturday suspended his country's participation in a key arms control treaty governing deployment of troops in Europe.

The Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty limits countries' deployment of military craft, including tanks, jets, artillery and combat vehicles, RIA Novosti reported. The treaty is seen as a key part of maintaining stability in Europe.


Putin said he acted due to "extraordinary circumstances" which affect the security of the Russian Federation and demand immediate attention.

A statement from the Kremlin said U.S. plans to deploy conventional arms in Bulgaria and Romania have had "a negative impact" on Russia's compliance with the treaty, the Russian news agency reported.

Under an amended treaty ratified by Russia in 1999, Russia agreed to withdraw troops from the former Soviet republics of Moldova and Georgia. The United States and other NATO members have refused to ratify the amended treaty until Russia completely withdraws its troops.

Russia's withdrawal from the treaty would allow Moscow to build up forces near its borders.

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