Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Russian Position on NATO

Russia will not increase its military presence along its western border as long as NATO refrains from a military buildup.

Russia said that in mid-December of 2007 it will stop its obligations under a key European treaty limiting the deployment of tanks, aircraft and other heavy weapons.

Officials said they did so not as a threat, but to persuade NATO nations to ratify a 1999 update of the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe treaty that is more acceptable to Moscow.

Russia says the 1990 treaty has become hopelessly out of date as Europe's geopolitical boundaries have shifted following the collapse of communism. They claim that since several former Warsaw Pact members have joined NATO, deployments in western Russia have been restricted.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed concern over NATO's eastward expansion and deployments close to Russia, particularly U.S. plans for missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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