Russia's NATO envoy says new CFE treaty should include navies
An adapted Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty should also cover signatory states' naval forces, Russia's new ambassador to NATO said.
"I am positive that we should move toward signing a new treaty that would take the navy component into account," Dmitry Rogozin told a news conference.
The Cold War-era CFE pact, which regulates the deployment of non-nuclear weapons between the Atlantic and the Urals, has been a source of tension between Russia and NATO, with the Western alliance refusing to ratify its updated version and Russia subsequently imposing a moratorium on the treaty.
The envoy said the current CFE only regulates land-based forces, "which is wrong, as naval forces in many NATO countries have considerable advantages over Russia's navy. Its adapted version should counterbalance these advantages."
Rogozin, an outspoken nationalist former lawmaker described as a hawkish NATO opponent in the Western media, called the 1990 treaty "completely outdated" and its flank limitations requirement "an anachronism of the Cold War."
He also said NATO's decision to suspend a partnership program with Russia over the country's CFE moratorium was ungrounded.
Russia and the Western military bloc have scaled down military cooperation, but still conduct anti-terrorism patrols in the Mediterranean, exchange intelligence data and information on each other's air movements, and cooperate in the missile defense sphere and in fighting drug traffic from Afghanistan.
Moscow said it would lift its December 2007 moratorium after NATO countries ratified the adapted 1999 CFE version, calling the original 1990 treaty discriminatory and outdated as it does not reflect the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc, the breakup of the Soviet Union, or recent NATO expansion.
Western states have refused to ratify CFE saying Russia should first withdraw troops from some ex-Soviet republics. Moscow has insisted those are unrelated issues.
Washington's announcement last year that it planned to deploy missile defense elements in Central Europe further unnerved Moscow, which was already concerned over the emergence of new NATO bases along its borders.