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Russia Suspends Participation In Conventional Arms Consulting Group

Russia has announced it will suspend its participation in the Joint Consultative Group (JCG) on the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe as of March 11.

Russia's Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its website on March 10 citing Aleksandr Mazu, the head of the Russian delegation to Vienna talks about military security and arms control.

Mazur said Russia's participation in the advisory group was "meaningless from a political and practical point of view and an unjustifiable waste from a financial-economic [point of view]."

The statement noted Russia already suspended its participation the Treaty on Conventional Military Forces in Europe in 2007 saying NATO's expansion plans made it impossible to realize the terms of the treaty.

The statement said that with the decision to suspend its role in the JCG "the suspension of the CFE treaty announced by Russia in 2007 becomes complete."

It added that the move "does not signify its refusal from further dialogue over conventional arms in Europe" and Moscow would rejoin discussions "if and when our partners are ripe for it."

Mazur said Belarus would represent Russia's interests in the JCG at future meetings.

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