site.btaCabinet Decides to Suspend CFE Treaty's Operation for Bulgaria

Cabinet Decides to Suspend CFE Treaty's Operation for Bulgaria
Cabinet Decides to Suspend CFE Treaty's Operation for Bulgaria
The Council of Ministers building in Sofia (BTA Photo)

The Council of Ministers has adopted a decision on suspension of the operation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) for the Republic of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said on its website on Tuesday.

The Treaty, negotiated and concluded at the end of the Cold War, was signed in 1990 to place limits on the deployment of military equipment so as to maintain military balance between NATO and the then-Warsaw Pact countries.

"In 2007 the Russian Federation suspended its participation in the CFE. After four years of diplomatic efforts to reach agreement with Russia on the future of conventional armed control, in 2011 Bulgaria, together with the rest of the NATO member countries, decided to take reciprocal actions by partially discontinuing the fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty's verification mechanism vis-à-vis Russia," the press release says.

"By the war it started against Ukraine in 2022, the Russian Federation breached fundamental CFE principles like refraining from military aggression and respecting States' sovereignty and territorial integrity, thereby changing fundamentally the context for the application of the Treaty," the Foreign Ministry pointed out.

"Having denounced a number of bilateral and multilateral disarmament and arms control agreements, for which it systematically shifted the blame to NATO member countries, on June 9, 2023 the Russian Federation issued a formal notification of its withdrawal from CFE. This act breached an essential condition for the further application of the Treaty as a strategic binding instrument reducing the possibility of a large-scale military conflict," the press release went on to say. 

"Given the ensuing objective impossibility to achieve the objectives of the Treaty, the Council of Ministers decided to suspend its operation for the Republic of Bulgaria. At the same time, the Bulgarian side remains committed to military transparency and confidence building in the field of conventional armaments and will explore options for the application of voluntary measures contributing to an increase of predictability and stability in Europe," the Foreign Ministry pointed out.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry released an official statement according to which Russia's CFE withdrawal procedure was completed at 00:00 on November 7, 2023. "Thus, the international legal document, the validity of which was suspended by our country back in 2007, has finally become history for us," the statement said.

"Allies condemn Russia's decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), and its war of aggression against Ukraine which is contrary to the Treaty's objectives. Russia's withdrawal is the latest in a series of actions that systematically undermines Euro-Atlantic security," the North Atlantic Council responded in a statement on Tuesday.

"Therefore, as a consequence, Allied States Parties intend to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty for as long as necessary, in accordance with their rights under international law. This is a decision fully supported by all NATO Allies," the statement reads.

/NZ/

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By 11:27 on 14.04.2024 Today`s news

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