[JURIST] The Russian State Duma voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of a measure that would suspend the nation's responsibilities under the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty [text; backgrounder]. The Russian government first threatened to temporarily withdraw [JURIST report] from the treaty in June, amid tensions between the US and Russia over US plans for an anti-missile defense shield in central Europe, which Russia perceives to be a threat to Russian national security. The measure reinforces legislatively a presidential decree [JURIST report] issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website]in July. The bill must still pass in the upper house of parliament and be signed by Putin in order to take effect.
In April, Putin told both houses of the Russian parliament that he was suspending Russia's implementation of the CFE Treaty [JURIST report] due to what he called a US-led NATO military "build up" in Europe, and said he would explore the possibility of ending Russia's commitments under the treaty. The CFE Treaty, concluded in 1990 by the 22 members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact, regulates deployment of non-nuclear forces in Europe. In October, Putin also threatened to withdraw [JURIST report] Russia from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty [US DOS backgrounder] unless that treaty is expanded to include neighboring countries such as China, India, and Pakistan. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.