[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] Friday renewed assurances that Russia was ready to resume participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) [text; backgrounder], so long as Western nations ratify the 1999 version of the treaty. Speaking at a NATO-Russia Council summit [NATO materials, PDF] held in Romania, Putin said Russia is "ready to return to the treaty but [we] expect a mutual step." The 1999 treaty restricts the number of troops and heavy weapons that can be stationed between the Atlantic coast and Russia's Ural mountains. Xinhua has more.
The NATO-Russia Council released a statement [text] last week urging Russia to end its moratorium on the CFE and pledging to address the country's national security concerns. Russia suspended [JURIST report] its responsibilities under the CFE in November 2007 amid tensions between the US and Russia over US plans for an anti-missile defense shield in central Europe.