Putin Suspends Arms Pact

Moscow's move over anti-missle flap further imperils relations with US
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2007 3:26 PM CDT
Putin Suspends Arms Pact
President Bush, right, accompanied by Russian President Vladimir Putin, gestures during their joint statement, Monday, July 2, 2007, at the Bush family compound at Walker's Point in Kennebunkport, Maine. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)   (Associated Press)

Vladimir Putin suspended the Kremlin’s recognition of a key arms control treaty today, citing the threat to Russian security posed by US plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe. The 1990 pact limited the number of offensive weapons that could be deployed in Europe, the BBC explains; suspension means the Russians will no longer allow inspections or exchange data on arms.

The move is the latest volley from Putin over the planned missile shield, which the White House says is aimed at the likes of a nuclear Iran, not its former Cold War foe. An informal summit in Maine between Putin and President Bush, where Putin proposed an alternative shield system that would involve Russian participation, did little to repair the breach. (More The Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty stories.)

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