President Vladimir Putin formally notified NATO governments on Saturday that Russia will suspend its obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, a key Cold War-era arms limitation agreement, in response to American plans to deploy a missile shield in Eastern Europe.
The decision ratcheted up tensions over United States plans for a missile shield, which Russia opposes, but also reflected a trend of rising anti-Americanism and deep suspicion toward the West here as Russia's March presidential elections approach.
A statement posted by Russia's Foreign Ministry said flatly that Russia would halt inspections allowed under the treaty and claim the right to redeploy heavy weaponry along its western and southern borders, but would do so only in response to any possible NATO redeployment. It also suggested that the suspension was Russia's first official rejection of the arms limitations treaties of the Soviet Union.
Putin is paranoid! Does he, or anybody in Russia, REALLY believe the US and the Europeans are a threat to pre-emptively attack Russia, unprovoked? Or, is it just political posturing. Perhaps that's why it's a suspension (not provided for in the treaty) and not a complete withdrawal.
Does this mean we can crank the "Star Wars" space shield program back up?