Proliferation Press

A webpage devoted to tracking and analyzing current events related to the proliferation of WMD/CBRN.

Russia Roars: Putin Blasts NATO Missile Defense; Diplomatic Combat Over Kosovo

Posted by K.E. White on April 27, 2007

Numerous news-sites commented on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to withdraw from The Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe arms treaty (CFE), voiced during his final annual address to the Federation Council (Russia’s upper house of Congress).

Reuters offers a succinct summary of what such a diplomatic withdrawal would mean. The treaty restricts armaments throughout Europe–from Atlantic and Russia’s Ural mountains. But more important is the treaty’s symbolic significance: to foster a cooperative security environment between Europe and Russia.

Putin’s move signals to Europe and America his unhappiness with the geopolitical status quo, and perhaps a willingness to shake that norm up.

PutinReuters points out that lately Russia has felt the CFE has become a diplomatic tool to box Russia in and accept pro-West policies.

But Putin pointed specifically to NATO’s missile defense plans—spearheaded by the United States—as a reason for possible CFE withdrawal.

This issue directly relates to speculation over the possibility of a new nuclear arms/war technology race.

If large regional powers—China and Russia—feel their nuclear deterrents are no longer effective, their security concerns could derail cooperation with the United States and their allies on a host of over issues.

And Kosovo may be the first casualty. Russia is currying opposition to Kosovo independence, contrary to American and European aims. While Russian opposition has other–and more substantial–roots, the feuding over missile defense certainly does not help.

And to top things off, a WWII monument is severely souring relations between Russia and Estonia.

The Russian bear is roaring, and putting the world community on note.

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