Russia planning to withdraw from Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

Russia has announced that its parliament will deliberate on whether to withdraw from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, or CFE.

The treaty, signed in 1990 by NATO and the then-Warsaw Pact, set a cap on the number of conventional weapons that the Cold War rivals could possess, in order to balance power between them.

Russia's presidential office announced on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, a bill on the denunciation of the treaty.

Putin also put Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in charge of deliberations on the bill.

Russia ratified the treaty in 1999, but suspended its implementation in 2007 amid a quarrel with NATO.

Leonid Slutsky, chair of the State Duma's Committee on International Affairs, said the treaty "has long existed only on paper."

He added that, given the existing realities, the treaty's final denunciation will "strengthen Russia's national interests and security."

By announcing Russia's withdrawal from the treaty, the Putin administration appears to be ramping up efforts aimed at preventing European nations and the US from giving Ukraine more military support.

Russia's state-run news agency reports that the State Duma is likely to discuss the matter on May 16.