Russia’s Secession From CFE Sovereign Right

RUSSIA’S SECESSION FROM CFE SOVEREIGN RIGHT

ARKA News Agency, Armenia
July 17 2007

YEREVAN, July 17. /ARKA/. Russia’s secession from the Agreement
on Conventional forces in Europe (CFE) is the country’s sovereign
right, Head of the Department for International Military Relations
and Defense Programs, RA Ministry of Defense, Major-General Mikael
Melkonyan told ARKA.

"Each country is independent in determining the scope and form of its
involvement in various international agreements and organizations. It
is Russia’s sovereign right to accede to or secede from international
agreements," Melkonyan said. He pointed out that Armenia is much more
concerned over the regular violations of the Agreement by the other
signatories located in the South Caucasus.

Melkonyan pointed out that Azerbaijan has exceeded the limits of
weapons and military equipment almost two times.

"In some categories, they exceed the limits equally set for both
Armenia and Azerbaijan. In particularly, the number of tanks must
not exceed 220, but even now they state that they have 261 tanks,
though, according to the information at the disposal of Armenia’s
Ministry of Defense, they have over 276 tanks," Melkonyan.

According to him, other types of weapons show a similar situation.

Specifically, the number of infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) is
limited to 220, but Azerbaijan actually has over 1,000 IFVs.

Melkonyan pointed out that Azerbaijan is known to have long been
building up its armaments, but Armenia is concerned over Baku’s
another intention.

"A month ago representatives of official Baku openly stated their
intention to secede from the CFE, but official Azerbaijan has not so
far done it," Melkonyan said.

According to him, Azerbaijan’s intention must make Armenia prepare
a corresponding response, but not by building up armaments, but by
other methods, particularly by enhancing the vigilance of Armenia’s
Armed Forces.

The CFE was signed in Paris, in 1990, a year before the USSR’s
collapse. A revised version, with the new terms considered, was signed
at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul. The adapted version is open to any
OSCE member-country.

On July 14, 2007, RF President Vladimir Putin signed a decree
suspending Russia’s participation in the CFE and related international
agreements in connection with exceptional circumstances involving
the country’s security.

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