News / USA

US Curbs Conventional Arms Cooperation With Russia

A US, OSCE military observer examines a newly added to Russia's armory 2S25 "Sprut-SD" heavy armament combat vehicle, Sept. 23, 2011.
A US, OSCE military observer examines a newly added to Russia's armory 2S25 "Sprut-SD" heavy armament combat vehicle, Sept. 23, 2011.

The United States said Tuesday it is halting information-sharing with Russia under the treaty limiting conventional forces in Europe, the CFE. Moscow stopped providing information on its forces four years ago.

Officials here say the United States is suspending data exchanges with Moscow on conventional force deployments in Europe and will bar Russian inspectors from U.S. bases.

But they say the U.S. side will continue to observe weapons limits under the treaty, with the hope that Russia will at some point resume compliance and agree to update the Cold War-era agreement.

The original 1990 treaty limited the number of tanks, aircraft and other major non-nuclear weapons that NATO and the former Warsaw Pact could deploy west of Russia’s Ural mountains.

The 30 signatory countries updated the treaty in 1999 but NATO states refused to ratify it as long as Russia kept troops in Georgia and the breakaway Moldovan region of Trans-Dniester.

Russia began refusing to allow base inspections and provide weapons data in late 2007.  

At a news briefing, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States is taking reciprocal action after Russia rebuffed attempts to update the treaty.

“We have tried repeatedly to bring Russia back to the table, because we do believe in the CFE and we think it provides reassurance," said Nuland. "But we’re at a stage now where, after a number of efforts to salvage this, we don’t think it’s in our interest to continue to provide data that is not reciprocated on the Russia side.”

Nuland said she expects NATO allies to follow the U.S. lead and limit CFE cooperation with Moscow, while saying the United States will continue information-sharing with all treaty countries except Russia.

Russia expert Ariel Cohen, a senior research fellow at Washington’s Heritage Foundation, says despite a much publicized “reset” of U.S.-Russian relations in 2009, tensions remain over various issues including U.S. missile defense plans for Europe.

“There are numerous issues," said Cohen. "And I think the conventional forces-Europe treaty - that we don’t want to cooperate with Russia now - is because the Russians suspended their membership in the CFE treaty, not giving us anything in return. And the U.S. is fed up. Now we’re not going to violate the parameters of the CFE treaty and beef up our conventional forces in Europe. Nor is there a reason for that.”

State Department Spokeswoman Nuland downplayed a suggestion the CFE dispute reflects a major setback in U.S.-Russian relations, saying the 2009 “reset” wasn’t expected to resolve all issues.

“The reset has allowed us to make significant progress on some very difficult issues: the conclusion of the new START [strategic arms reduction] deal, better understanding on Afghanistan, significant progress on Iran," she said. "But reset also allows us to speak quite frankly when we have difficulties and disagreements, as we’ve had on issues like the sovereignty of Georgia, etcetera.”

Nuland, who was involved in CFE negotiations before taking her current post, said the United States made two “extremely serious” efforts to settle differences with Moscow since 2007 and that the “door remains open” to a deal.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid