NATO regrets Moscow`s decision to suspend its commitments under the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, the alliance`s spokesperson said Saturday, according to RIA Novosti.
James Appathurai said: "NATO considers this treaty to be an important cornerstone of European security," he said describing Russia`s move as "a disappointing step in the wrong direction."
The latest reports quoted the British Foreign Office as saying in a statement it regretted Russia`s decision and expected a resumption of dialogue on the issue.
The Foreign Ministry in Poland, which has not yet honored its CFE commitments, said it was "astonished" by Russia`s moratorium on the treaty and related international agreements.
"Poland is astonished by the Kremlin decision," Deputy Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told a RIA Novosti correspondent adding that Warsaw would like to hold expert negotiations on the issue.
The moratorium on honoring the CFE treaty until NATO ratifies an upgraded CFE treaty was decreed Saturday by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia will consider the CFE treaty and related international agreements frozen 150 days after all participants in the CFE treaty have received notices from the country.
"Upon President Putin`s instructions the Russian Foreign Ministry will circulate relevant notices July 14, 2007," the body said in a statement.
Among other things, Russia will not comply with any conventional arms limits, the Foreign Ministry said, however, the amount of Russian weapons will depend on the situation in the military and political spheres. The Foreign Ministry added that the moratorium "does not imply that we are shutting the doors to further dialogue."
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern about the emergence of new NATO bases close to its borders and the bloc`s reluctance to ratify an updated CFE Treaty, which has regulated the deployment of troops and weapons on the continent since the Cold War.
Moscow considers the 1990 CFE treaty outdated since it does not reflect either the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact or the breakup of the Soviet Union. Unlike NATO, Russia signed an upgraded CFE treaty in 1999.