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The XXI century will be a сentury either of total all-embracing crisis or of moral and spiritual healing that will reinvigorate humankind. It is my conviction that all of us - all reasonable political leaders, all spiritual and ideological movements, all  faiths - must help in this transition to a triumph of humanism and justice, in making the XXI century a century of a new human renaissance.

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17 July 2007

Gorbachev backs Putin’s move to suspend CFE Treaty

     Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev today expressed support to the decree issued yesterday by President Vladimir Putin to suspend Russia’s participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty saying it was an indispensable instrument.
     However, Mr Putin's decision to suspend the treaty's implementation was justified.
     «The CFE Treaty is important for the continent and we signed it in 1990 for this reason. It was a very difficult but important step we took as we were trying to lay the groundwork for building a new Europe», Mr Gorbachev told in an interview to Interfax news agency today.
     «But it would be absolutely illogical for Russia to be the only state to abide by the treaty and for others not to even ratify it»; he said adding «Theproposed plan to base elements of the US national missile defense in Eastern Europe added poignancy to the issue». «So in this context, Russia's rights are being apparently defied, while the partners are acting the way partners never do», Mr Gorbachev said emphatically.
     «Therefore, the Russian President's move was absolutely logical, not emotional», he said, pointing out «What actually matters now is that we want to save this Treaty and to keep the principle of equality»«The President's decision is a strongly worded insistent proposal, intended for a constructive dialogue and for implementing the treaty», Mr Gorbachev said.
     «Of course, all the parties need a Treaty adapted to the new situation when the Soviet Union no longer exists and some of the former Soviet republics have become NATO members. What the parties must do now is to hold discussions and talks, and to implement the agreements reached», he said.
     Commenting on Mr Putin's decision to suspend CFE Treaty, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) General Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha said it was «logical» since the Treaty had ceased to be an instrument for maintaining stability in Europe.
     «This decision is logical because the NATO members, have in fact, blocked ratification of the CFE treaty. They did not respond in any way to Russia's proposal made in April 2007. Nor did they take any relevant steps after the CFE member-countries' emergency conference in June», Mr Bordyuzha said.
     Of the four countries that have ratified the CFE Treaty (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine) «the first three are CSTO members», he said.
     The Chairman of the Federation Council (Upper House) Defence and Security Committee Viktor Ozerov told the agency that CFE will cease to exist without Russia.
     «The President’s decree suspending the application of the CFE treaty is signaling the last warning to the NATO members who signed the treaty 15 years ago, but have not ratified it. If Russia quits, the treaty will cease to exist. This is absolutely clear», Mr Ozerov said.