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Cardin, Risch Statement on U.S., NATO Decision to Suspend Operation of Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the United States and NATO announced that NATO member countries, including the United States, would “suspend the operation” of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), following years of Russian malign activity across Eastern Europe.

“We applaud the United States and NATO’s announced decision to suspend the operation of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.

“The CFE treaty has been viewed as a cornerstone of European security, which provided a pathway for a peaceful and stable end to the Cold War military confrontation that once divided the continent. When Russia unilaterally ‘suspended’ its implementation of the treaty in 2007 without any legal basis, its leaders made clear they have no interest in limiting their conventional military forces or transparency measures which might constrain their ability to coerce, bully, and invade their neighbors.

“This is an opportunity to reassess our force posture in Europe to ensure we are ready to deter any Russian threats against U.S. national security interests, including against our NATO allies and other regional partners.”