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FM: Estonia ready to join Conventional Forces in Europe treaty
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15:40, December 28, 2007

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Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has said in a recent interview with Interfax news agency that the nation would seek to join the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty immediately after its ratification, news from the Estonian capital Tallin said Thursday.

The Estonian government has set up a committee charged with preparatory work, Paet said, adding that negotiations on the joining of the treaty would start immediately after its ratification by NATO members.

The original CFE treaty was signed in 1990 by 16 NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact members, with the aim to maintain the military balance in Europe by setting equal limits for each signatory on five categories of conventional weapons -- battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery pieces, combat aircraft and attack helicopters.

The treaty, which came into force on Nov. 9, 1992, also lays down measures to enhance confidence-building, transparency and cooperation between member states.

Russia suspended its obligations under the CFE treaty on Dec. 12. The country said it could rejoin the treaty after NATO countries ratify the treaty's adapted version, signed on Nov. 19, 1999, by all NATO countries except Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Slovenia.

Source: Xinhua



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