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Russia Will Not Notify West Of Troop Movements

Russian tanks during a military exercise in July 2006 (ITAR-TASS) MOSCOW, May 4, 2007 -- Russia's first deputy prime minister, Sergei Ivanov, has said that Russia will no longer inform Western partners of possible troop movements across its territory.

Ivanov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying that Russia would retain its moratorium on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe until all NATO countries ratified a revised version of the pact.

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.

(AFP, Interfax)

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