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Russia may halt CFE treaty participation following talks failure

[JURIST] The Russian delegation to the Extraordinary Conference of the States Parties to the CFE Treaty [official website] in Vienna expressed displeasure at the close of talks Friday and repeated calls for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) [official website] to ratify the 1999 revision [text] of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, insisting that the original 1990 CFE treaty [text] is outdated. Russia called for the four-day talks, but without being able to reach an agreement, its delegation chief said that Russia could simply halt its participation in the accord. NATO, calling the CFE treaty a "cornerstone of security and stability in Europe", expressed regret that an agreement was not reached [press release], and urged Russia to continue engaging in discussions. The chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) [official website], who hosted the conference, called on parties to resolve their differences [press release], and reminded them that such treaties help establish a climate of security and mutual trust.

Last week Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the country would not raise the issue of withdrawing [JURIST report] from the treaty at the Vienna conference. Many NATO countries are against ratifying the 1999 treaty because of Russia's continued basing of troops in Moldova and Georgia, which Russia claims is an unrelated issue. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

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