During his annual address of parliament on April 26, Putin declared a freeze on its compliance with the CFE Treaty because NATO members have not ratified the pact and are not abiding by its provisions.
The treaty imposes strict limits on deployment of tanks, troops and other forces in European countries.
It was originally negotiated between NATO and the Warsaw Pact as a guarantor of European security in Europe in the waning days of the Cold War.
It was signed by 30 states in November 1990, and came in to force in 1992.
A revised version of the treaty, negotiated in Istanbul in 1999, reflected the new, post-Soviet landscape by setting arms limits for individual countries, rather than zones. The agreement aided NATO's expansion efforts by allowing signatory states to allow foreign forces on their soil.
NATO states have not yet ratified the revised version of the treaty saying it is dependent on Russia withdrawing all its troops and equipment from separatist republics in Georgia and Moldova.
In recent years, Russian diplomats have threatened to withdraw from the treaty.
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"I think there was too much euphoria, too much of an inclination to declare that Russia was a democracy," former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told RFE/RL. more
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Harvard Historian Richard Pipes argues that Putin's Russia is confused about its role in the world and, therefore, an unreliable partner for the United States. more
RFE/RL Russia Report
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