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Russia terminates the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. NATO North Atlantic Council: action undermining Euro-Atlantic security

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Russia’s withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was condemned by NATO members. In a statement by the North Atlantic Council of the Alliance, it was written that Moscow’s decision “is the latest in a series of actions that systematically undermine Euro-Atlantic security.” It was emphasized that the treaty is “the cornerstone of Europe’s security architecture”.

“Allies of FOR THIS condemn the decision Russia to withdraw from the landmark Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), the cornerstone of Europe’s security architecture. The CFE Treaty establishes legally binding and verifiable limits for key categories of conventional military equipment of the states that are parties to the treaty, wrote the NATO North Atlantic Council in a statement issued on Friday. On that day, the Russian side officially announced its withdrawal from the treaty under the law passed in May.

The Council also recalled that Russia has been failing to meet its commitments under the CFE for many years, and aggression against Ukrainewith the participation of Belarusis contrary to the objectives of the treaty.

“Russia’s decision to withdraw from the CFE Treaty is the latest in a series of actions that systematically undermine Euro-Atlantic security. Russia’s decision further demonstrates Moscow’s continued disregard for arms control, including reciprocity, transparency, compliance and verification. We have repeatedly urged Russia to comply with the treaty. Russia has not engaged constructively and has not taken steps towards full compliance.”

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NATO North Atlantic Council and the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the main political decision-making body in the NATO structure. Each Member State has a representative in it. The Council meets at various levels at least once a week or whenever necessary.

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed on November 19, 1990 by the states then belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Warsaw Pact. It imposed quantitative limits on deployed offensive weapons, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles or combat aircraft and helicopters. As the Center for Eastern Studies writes, the treaty “also created a mechanism of mutual control in the form of mandatory notification and inspection.”

OSW also recalls that in the autumn of 1999 a modified version of the treaty was signed in Istanbul, but it was not ratified by Western states. At the same time, the West declared that, despite the lack of ratification, it would abide by the provisions of the treaties. The reason for this decision was that Russia did not want to liquidate Russian military bases in Georgia and Moldova, where they were located against the will of the governments of those countries.

In 2007, Russia suspended its participation in the CFE, and on 16 May this year the State Duma (Russian parliament) voted to terminate the Treaty. The law “On the denouncement by the Russian Federation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe” entered into force on Friday, June 9. On the same day, the Russian side officially notified the member states of the treaty of the date of final withdrawal from it.

However, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, it will take about six months to complete all the procedures related to the termination of the arrangements.

PAP, tvn24.pl, Kommersant

Main photo source: Drop of Light/Shutterstock

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