Russia has formally withdrawn from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) as of midnight on November 7, 2023.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared the treaty obsolete and contrary to Russia’s security interests, blaming NATO’s expansion and the United States’ failure to ratify a modified version of the treaty for this decision.
The Russian foreign ministry criticized the United States for not ratifying the adaptation of the CFE Treaty, negotiated in the late 1990s, leading to its obsolescence. Russia suspended its participation in the treaty in 2007 and ceased involvement in its verification mechanisms in 2015 before fully withdrawing.
The ministry stressed that the experiences from the treaty’s creation and implementation would be considered for future actions. The CFE Treaty signed in 1990, aimed to limit conventional weapons in Europe to reduce tensions between NATO and the former Soviet Union. However, Russia contends that the treaty no longer reflects the European security landscape.
The expansion of NATO, particularly with the United States’ involvement, led to the circumvention of the treaty’s restrictions, rendering its original form ineffective.
Russia’s decision to exit the CFE Treaty is attributed to the Western world’s stance towards the treaty’s adaptation and its anti-Russian policies. The failure to enact the 1999 agreement to adopt the CFE Treaty further contributed to Russia’s withdrawal.