Incomplete fulfillment of the commitments undertaken by Moscow on the withdrawal of Russian military bases from Georgia and Moldova does not prevent NATO member states from ratifing the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), Russian President Vladimir Putin said while delivering an annual state of the nation address on April 26.
“The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) is not linked with the Istanbul agreement from a legal point of view…Our partners are, to say the least, behaving incorrectly, when they try to gain unilateral advantages. Bypassing the CFE ratification under false pretexts, they use the current situation to deploy military bases near our borders,” President Putin said.
One of the reasons for the protracted ratification process of the CFE Treaty by NATO members is the non-fulfillment of Russia's obligations regarding the withdrawal of its military bases from Georgia and Moldova. This is one of the requirements of the CFE Treaty signed in Istanbul in November 1999.
“I consider it expedient to declare a moratorium on Russia’s implementation of the treaty until all countries of NATO, without exception, ratify this treaty,” Putin said.
He recalled that in 1990 the countries of the Warsaw Pact and NATO signed a treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe. "If the Warsaw Pact had continued in existence, the sense of this document would have been clear. However, today it means that we are limited in the number of troops we can deploy on our own territory,” the Russian president added.