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Belarusian president signs law ending CFE Treaty

Minsk, May 29 (Prensa Latina) The president of Belarus, Aleksander Lukashenko, signed the law on the lifting of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), according to the Belarusian legal portal.

“To cease the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of November 19th, 1990,” reads the law, signed by Lukashenko and previously approved by the Upper House of the Belarusian Parliament, in early May.

In April, the president’s press service reported that the head of state consented to the submission to Parliament of the bill on the withdrawal of the CFE Treaty, which Minsk ratified in 1992.

The press service also recalled that in 2022 the Czech Republic, and Poland in 2023, decided not to comply with the CFE Treaty concerning Belarus, which retaliated by suspending the treaty to these countries in October 2023. Furthermore, in November 2023, NATO member countries announced their intention to indefinitely stop their participation in the treaty, which, according to Minsk, effectively means the termination of the pact.

The Belarusian Defense Ministry, for its part, stated that Minsk does not plan to increase the number of armaments shortly, due to the ending of the treaty.

The CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 and adapted in 1997 and provides for the limitation of total levels of armaments and conventional equipment, as well as mechanisms to verify compliance with agreed obligations, including the exchange of information and inspections. The countries of NATO did not ratify the updated version of the document and continued to abide by the 1990 provisions, which contained rules on conventional weapons based on the balance between the alliance and the Warsaw Pact, which was long dissolved at that point.

For this reason, Russia was forced to declare a moratorium on applying the terms of the agreement in 2007, and in March 2015 ending its membership in the treaty. On May 29th, 2023, President Vladimir Putin signed a bill denouncing the CFE Treaty, which entered into force on June 9th.