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European security conference in Moscow
May 23, 2013, 11:23 am

[Getty Images]

Russian hopes to focus on new mechanisms of arms controls in Europe [Getty Images]

Senior defence officials from Russia, the European Union, US, Canada, and from key international organisations have gathered in Moscow for a two-day international conference on European security.

Russia said it seeks a calm and open dialogue at the forum – organisations in attendance include OECD, NATO and OSCE, as well as independent military and political experts.

The conference is titled “Military and Political Aspects of European Security”.

“We certainly realise that the conference will not resolve the existing differences, but we need a calm and open dialogue on all issues – pleasant and unpleasant,” Russian deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov said ahead of the event.

Over 300 participants will discuss approaches to the new pan-European security architecture.

Russian hopes to focus on new mechanisms of arms controls in Europe as the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) has no prospects in the future.

In 1990 16 NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact members signed the first CFE Treaty.

The treaty established limits for each bloc on five key categories of conventional armaments and military hardware, including tanks, combat armored vehicles, artillery, assault helicopters and combat aircraft.

The treaty was updated in 1999, but NATO refused to ratify it saying Russia kept troops in Georgia and Transdnestria.

In 2007 Russia imposed a unilateral moratorium on the CFE treaty, concerned over NATO’s eastward expansion, US missile defence plans for Europe, and the refusal of alliance members to ratify the adapted treaty.

Moscow has repeatedly said it will resume its participation in the CFE if NATO member states ratify the updated treaty.

In response, the United States and a number of its NATO allies announced in November 2011 they will no longer exchange information on conventional weapons and troops with Russia.

Daria Chernyshova

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