Russia Signals Readiness for Talks on Limiting Weapons

Posted November 15th, 2012 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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Russia says it is ready to launch talks with NATO on limiting conventional military forces in Europe.

Moscow's new envoy to NATO, Alexander Grushko, said Thursday that the consultations should be done without any attempts to tie them to political issues.

Grushko says “the ball is in Europe's court,” adding that Russia is waiting for signals from its European partners showing interest in the matter.

The original 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) 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 Moldova's Trans-Dniester region.

Russia suspended its compliance with the treaty in 2007, refusing to allow base inspections and provide weapons data.

Russia currently has troops in the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as well as Trans-Dniester. Moscow recognizes the two Georgian areas as independent states.