Türkiye suspends Cold War-era European arms treaty - M5 Dergi
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Türkiye suspends Cold War-era European arms treaty

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Türkiye on Friday suspended its participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which dates back to the Cold War era.

“It has been decided to suspend the implementation of the Treaty between the Republic of Türkiye and the other states that are parties to the Treaty as of April 8, 2024, in accordance with Article 3 of the Presidential Decree No. 9,” according to the country’s Official Gazette. The treaty was signed in Paris on Nov. 19, 1990. Its main objective was to reduce the possibility of a surprise armed attack and the triggering of major offensive operations in Europe.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Öncü Keçeli said in a written statement on Friday that Türkiye did not entirely withdraw from the treaty but it had no other option than suspension after Russia withdrew from the treaty in November 2023.

Ankara has earlier expressed regret after Russia announced its withdrawal. “We regret the Russian Federation’s decision to withdraw from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty). Mainly since 2007, there has been a gradual erosion of the European security architecture in which the CFE Treaty remains a cornerstone,” a Foreign Ministry statement said back then.

The CFE was a landmark post-Cold War arms control agreement signed on Nov. 19, 1990, in Paris between two military blocs, NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

It imposed limits on five key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe – tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, helicopters and combat aircraft – and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry. In 1999, an updated CFE treaty was drafted and approved in Istanbul, Türkiye, taking into account new realities such as the Warsaw Pact’s dissolution and NATO expansion. Because NATO countries did not ratify the agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin suspended Russia’s participation in the CFE treaty in 2007. Earlier in May, Putin signed a decree denouncing the CFE, almost two weeks after Russian lawmakers approved Moscow’s withdrawal from the treaty. Keçeli noted that Türkiye’s decision was reversible.

Source: Daily Sabah

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