[JURIST] The Federation Council of Russia voted unanimously on Friday in favor of a measure that would suspend the nation's responsibilities under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty [text; backgrounder]. The Russian upper house's vote follows a unanimous vote in favor of suspending the CFE that occurred in the State Duma last week. The Russian government first threatened to temporarily withdraw [JURIST report] from the treaty in June, amid tensions between the US and Russia over US plans for an anti-missile defense shield in central Europe, which Russia perceives to be a threat to Russian national security. The measure legislatively reinforces a presidential decree [JURIST report] issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] in July. The bill must still be signed by Putin in order to take effect and Russia could return to the CFE if the president reverses parliament's decision. RIA Novosti has local coverage.
The CFE Treaty, concluded in 1990 by the 22 members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact, regulates deployment of non-nuclear forces in Europe. In October, Putin also threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] Russia from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty [US DOS backgrounder] unless that treaty is expanded to include neighboring countries such as China, India, and Pakistan. AFP has more.