Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Frozen Pact Worries Moldova

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Russia's withdrawal from a key European arms control treaty could jeopardize Moldovan efforts to have some 1,500 Russian troops pull out of its territory, Moldova's foreign minister said Friday.

Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan said Moldova would voice its concerns at a summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, being held later this year in Madrid.

"The Republic of Moldova has asked for and will continue to ask for the pullout of Russian troops" stationed in the breakaway region of Transdnestr, which Moscow supports, Stratan said

Moldova fears, however, that it will lose leverage in the argument if Russia withdraws from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

The State Duma voted unanimously Wednesday to suspend Moscow's participation in the treaty, approving President Vladimir Putin's initiative in a widely expected show of defiance to the West. The legislation must now be approved by the Federation Council and signed by Putin before going into effect, expected by Dec. 12. An original 1990 pact set limits on the deployment of conventional armaments by NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. But the Soviet collapse changed strategic balances, and a revised treaty was worked out in 1999. Russia ratified the updated treaty in 2004, but the United States and other NATO members have refused to do so, demanding that Moscow fulfill obligations it made in 1999 to withdraw its forces from Georgia and Transdnestr.