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The Sejm adopted an act on the suspension of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

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On Thursday, the Sejm adopted an act aimed at suspending the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed in 1990 between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries. The suspension of the treaty was announced in November 2023 by NATO countries in the face of Russia’s armament and aggressive policy.

On Wednesday, the government’s bill on amending the scope of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed in Paris on November 19, 1990, was dealt with by the joint Sejm committees on foreign affairs and national defense – they recommended to the Sejm the adoption of an act suspending the validity of the treaty without amendments. MPs from the Civic Coalition, Poland 2050, the Polish People’s Party and the Left agreed that the treaty should be suspended.

During the subsequent debate in the Sejm PiS MPs they asked why the project only provides for suspension and not complete denunciation of the treaty. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Władysław Teofil Bartoszewski in response pointed out that Poland wanted to denounce the treaty, but there was no agreement on this among the allies from FOR THIS.

On Thursday, the bill was supported by 435 MPs, 5 were against and no one abstained. The project was brought to the Sejm after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced in November 2023 that, pursuant to arrangements with NATO allies, it would take formal steps to suspend this treaty.

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Plenary hallPAP

What is the Conventional Armed Forces Treaty?

The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed in 1990 between the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance and the countries of the then existing Warsaw Pact, including Poland.

It was one of the symptoms of the end of the Cold War – under it, both blocs agreed to comply with limits on the number of pieces of military equipment (tanks, combat vehicles, planes) and ammunition stored in Europe.

It was hoped that quantitative restrictions on weapons and the provision of detailed information on the potential of the armed forces and the verification of this information would limit the possibility of carrying out a surprise armed attack and initiating large-scale operations. The parties to the treaty have undertaken, among others: for mutual sharing of information on armaments. The treaty entered into force in 1992.

Russia suspends participation in the treaty

In 2007, the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin signed a decree suspending participation Russia in the Treaty. On November 7, 2023, he announced that Russia had completely stopped recognizing the treaty.

In response, NATO member states decided to suspend the treaty. Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced then that Poland “will take formal action to suspend the CFE Treaty in a comprehensive manner – with respect to all its provisions – and indefinitely.”

“This means that the Republic of Poland will not be legally or practically obliged to fulfill the provisions of the CFE Treaty, including those regarding restrictions related to the Polish Armed Forces,” we read in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As emphasized, Poland has been implementing the obligations arising from the CFE Treaty since 1992, when this agreement entered into force, constituting an important element of the security architecture in Europe. “Russia violated the letter and spirit of the Treaty by failing to implement its provisions for many years and then initiating an unlawful, unprovoked war,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

“In this situation, the interest of the security of the Republic of Poland requires further strengthening of the defense and deterrence capabilities through consistent taking actions in the national and allied dimensions. At the same time, Poland does not rule out taking further steps in the future under international law, including the denunciation of the CFE Treaty in connection with the denunciation the CFE Treaty by Russia if the interests of the security of the Republic of Poland require it,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted.

Main photo source: PAP

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