Russian legislature ratifies European conventional forces treaty

Xinhua, China
June 25 2004

Russian legislature ratifies European conventional forces treaty

2004-06-25 23:55:18

MOSCOW, June 25 (Xinhuanet) — Russia’s lower house of parliament
on Friday ratified the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty
(CFE), which regulates the deployment of heavy weapons across the
European continent.

The State Duma passed the treaty by a vote of 355 to 28 with two
abstentions, an Interfax news agency report said.

The amended accord could significantly reduce the deployment
ofwarplanes, tanks and other heavy non-nuclear weapons in European
nations as well as the United States and Canada. It would take effect
after ratification of the 30 signatory countries.

Under the treaty, Russia could have 6,350 tanks, 11,280
armoredpersonnel carriers, 6,315 artillery, 3,416 combat aircraft,
and 885 helicopter gunships.

Russia can also keep its weapons and military hardware in Armenia
and Ukraine under the treaty. Russian forces are expected to remain
in neighboring Georgia to a certain level even after a bilateral
agreement was signed.

The original CFE treaty was approved in 1990 by the 22 members of
the NATO and Warsaw Pact alliances.

An amended version of the treaty was signed in 1999 following the
collapse of former Soviet Union.