Britain will stop sharing military information with Russia over Moscow’s decision to freeze compliance with the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), a government minister said on Friday.
The treaty imposes ceilings on the build-up of troops and forces from the Atlantic to the Urals.
“For as long as the Russian Federation fails to fulfill its obligations towards the United Kingdom under the CFE Treaty, we will cease fulfillment of our key obligations towards the Russian Federation,” Europe Minister David Lidington said in a written statement to parliament.
“Since December 2007, we have continued to fulfill our CFE Treaty obligations, and attempted to exercise our Treaty rights,” the statement said.
“We, our North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and other States Parties to the Treaty have also made considerable efforts to engage the Russian Federation in negotiations aimed at finding a mutually acceptable resolution, but without success.”
The statement follows the U.S. decision to halt CFE cooperation with Russia, announced on Tuesday.
The original CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 by 16 NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact members and came into force in 1992. The treaty set ceilings on five key categories of conventional armaments, including tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, assault helicopters and warplanes.
The CFE Treaty played a crucial stabilizing role during the breakup of the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe. However, later the document became outdated and irrelevant amid large-scale changes in the military and political environment.
The treaty was modified in 1999, but NATO member states refused to ratify it citing Russia’s military presence in Georgia and the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestr.
Russia imposed a unilateral moratorium on the CFE treaty in December 2007 over NATO’s eastward expansion, U.S. missile defense plans for Europe, and the refusal by alliance members to ratify the adapted treaty. Moscow has repeatedly said it will resume its participation in the CFE if NATO member states ratify the adapted treaty.