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World Council for the Cedars Revolution

Apr 15th
Home arrow News Content arrow Blog arrow Blog Items arrow Intelligence arrow Putin signs law suspending Russia's participation in Europe armed forces treaty
Putin signs law suspending Russia's participation in Europe armed forces treaty PDF Print E-mail
Written by agencies   
Friday, 30 November 2007


BERLIN: President Vladimir Putin signed a law Friday suspending Russia's participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty, intensifying pressure on NATO to make further concessions, said European diplomats.

Putin's action, two days before national elections, moved Russia a step closer to carrying out its threat to stop abiding by the accord on Dec. 12. U.S. and Russian arms control experts said they would step up negotiatons over the coming days.

"There will be more meetings," said Mikhail Uliyanov, head of Russia's military security and arms control delegation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which negotiated the original treaty. "We are committed to the arms control regime, but the old treaty is out of date," he added.

On Friday, Putin called for Russia's temporary suspension. "If no agreement was reached by Dec. 12, then all inspections and verifications of military sites would be stopped," said Uliyanov. "But that does not mean negotiations to resolve the issue would stop or that the suspension would be permanent."


Russia and the CFE


Russia claims that the treaty, first implemented in 1992 but amended in 1999, prevents it from moving its troops anywhere it chooses inside the Russian Federation. "We want to be free to deploy our troops in our territory," said Uliyanov. He also said that the enlargement of NATO to include Romania, Bulgaria and the Baltic states in 2004 had given NATO a superiority over Russia with regard to certain kinds of military equipment.

Putin's criticism of the treaty increased when the United States announced plans to deploy part of its antimissile shield in Eastern Europe, raising doubts among security experts over the possibility of reaching a compromise that did not include the future of the missile shield.

The U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, R. Nicholas Burns, said Putin's decision was "a mistake."

"It is Russia unilaterally walking out of one of the most important arms control regimes of the last 20 years," he told foreign ministers attending the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting Friday in Madrid.

But other NATO diplomats played down Putin's decision. With Putin adopting a tough anti-U.S. stance during the election campaign, they said they were disappointed but not surprised by his announcement.

"NATO regrets this decision," said James Appathurai, a NATO spokesman. "We hope that the Russian Federation will not take any unilateral actions that undermine the integrity of the treaty."

He added that NATO countries were "looking forward to discussing the issue" next week in Brussels at a meeting with Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and the 26 NATO foreign ministers.

NATO said there was no provision in the treaty for a unilateral moratorium on its implementation. Russia, one diplomat said, was running the risk of violating the treaty.

"Suspension of the implementation of treaty obligations would constitute a direct violation of the treaty," said a NATO diplomat who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

"It is time Lavrov explained to us next week how Russia can declare suspension but not be in violation of the treaty's rules."



Russia Suspends Treaty Involvement
Conflicts with Western Countries Ends CFE Treaty Participation
© Mark Resnicoff
Jul 16, 2007

Due to affects on their national security, Russia has announced that until several conditions are met, it is suspending participation in the 1990 CFE Treaty with NATO.

Russia announced on July 14, 2007, its suspension of participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty. The treaty, originally signed in 1990, limits the deployment of military forces such as tanks, heavy artillery, and fighter jets in Europe and western Russia (all areas west of the Ural Mountains). Moscow says it is not planning a military surge along its European borders.

New CFE Treaty Version
Russia has attempted to get an updated version of the treaty ratified for many years, but the United States and NATO refuse to ratify it until Russia withdraws its troops from the former Soviet Republics of Georgia and Moldova.

Did Russia Withdrawal or Suspend Treaty Participation?
The suspension will occur in 150 days, in accordance with guidelines in the treaty. Technically, the treaty only allows for withdrawal, not suspension of activity, but the delay allows for possible re-negotiation of the treaty.

Russia's Reasoning for Treaty Suspension
Many people feel the main reason for this action is Moscow's displeasure with the United States' recent plan to deploy missiles and a missile defense radar system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia's President Vladimir Putin stated the need to suspend participation is due to "exceptional circumstances" affecting Russian security. Russia has provided six reasons for the treaty suspension, none having to do with the recent U.S. announcement:

1. The failure of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to make the necessary changes in the composition of group of states party to the Treaty on the accession of these countries to NATO

2. The excessive parties to the CFE Treaty that belong to NATO, and the exclusive group that formed among CFE Treaty members as a result of the widening of the alliance

3. The negative impact of the planned deployment of America's conventional forces in Bulgaria and Romania because of this exclusive group mentality

4. The failure of a number of parties of the CFE Treaty to comply with the political obligations contained in the Istanbul Agreements relating to the early ratification of the Adapted Treaty

5. The failure of Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to comply with commitments accepted in Istanbul to adjust their territorial ceilings

6. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’s failure to participate in the CFE Treaty has adverse effects on Russia’s ability to implement its political commitments to military containment in the northwestern part of the Russian Federation. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania’s actions result in a territory in which there are no restrictions on the deployment of conventional forces, including other countries’ forces.

Information on the decree "On Suspending the Russian Federation’s Participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and Related International Agreements.” July 14, 2007.



The Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty at a Glance

October 2007
Press Contact: Wade Boese, Research Director, (202) 463-8270 x104

Nine years to the day after signature of the original Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty, the 30 CFE states-parties[1] signed an adaptation agreement on November 19, 1999, that updates the Cold War-era treaty’s structure. The agreement jettisons the bloc-to-bloc and zonal limits of the original treaty and replaces them with a system of national and territorial ceilings. (For more information on the original CFE Treaty, see the Association’s The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) Treaty at a Glance fact sheet.)

The Adapted Treaty will enter into force when all 30 states-parties have ratified the agreement. However, the United States and its fellow 21 NATO members that are CFE states-parties have said that they will not ratify the treaty until Russia first complies with its new weapons limits and with the commitments Moscow made in the CFE Final Act and the November 1999 Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Istanbul Summit Declaration. The act and declaration—political, not legally binding, documents concluded with the adapted treaty—set out additional commitments by CFE states-parties on future weapons deployments, including pledges by Russia to withdraw its treaty-limited weapons and military forces from Georgia and Moldova.

Early in 2002, Moscow declared that it had met the adapted treaty’s weapons limits. NATO accepted the claim in July 2002 but repeated that Russia must still fulfill its commitments with regard to Georgia and Moldova before ratification. Only Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine have ratified the adapted treaty. Hence, the original treaty remains in effect. Moscow is urging NATO members to speed up ratification efforts because the Kremlin is unhappy that four NATO members (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovenia) are not party to the original treaty and therefore have no arms limits. No provision exists for the four countries to accede to the original treaty. They must wait to join the adapted treaty once it enters into force.

National Ceilings

Each country will have a specific limit on tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), heavy artillery, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters—collectively referred to as treaty-limited equipment (TLE)—that it can deploy in the treaty’s area of application, which covers the area between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains.

Territorial Ceilings

Each country with territory in the treaty’s area of application will have a cap on the total number of tanks, ACVs, and heavy artillery that can be deployed within its borders. This restricts national and foreign-stationed TLE. During the adaptation negotiations, NATO refused Russia’s persistent efforts for similar caps on combat aircraft and attack helicopters.

Most countries, including Russia and the three newest NATO members, agreed to set territorial ceilings equal to national ceilings, in effect requiring a state’s own TLE on its territory to be lower than its national ceilings if that state wanted to host foreign-stationed forces. A host country must give advance
consent for any foreign TLE deployments.

Both Russia and Ukraine will have subceilings establishing areas in which their ground TLE deployments on their own territories will be limited within their overall limits.

Temporary Deployments

A country’s territorial ceilings can be exceeded by 153 tanks, 241 ACVs, and 140 artillery for military exercises and temporary deployments. In “exceptional circumstances,” countries outside the original treaty’s flank zone, which limited ground TLE in the northern and southern flanks of Europe, can temporarily exceed their territorial ceilings by 459 tanks, 723 ACVs, and 420 artillery. Temporary is not defined, but regular notifications are required for TLE exceeding territorial ceilings.


States-parties will be required to permit inspections of 20 percent of their “objects of verification,” which are military units down to the regiment level and storage, repair, and reduction sites with TLE present.

Annual reports on the actual location of tanks, ACVs, and artillery are required if they are different from their designated peacetime location. Quarterly reports must detail by territory the actual location of tanks, ACVs, and artillery, as well as the total number of combat aircraft and attack helicopters in the entire treaty area. Changes of more than 30 tanks, 30 ACVs, or 10 artillery on a state’s territory must be reported. Any increase by 18 or more combat aircraft or attack helicopters in a country’s holdings in the entire treaty area must be notified to all states-parties.


1. CFE states-parties: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.


Russia finally pulls out from Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty
30.11.2007 Source: AP © URL: http://english.pravda.ru/russia/102024-CFE-0

President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a law suspending Russia's participation in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty, the Kremlin announced.

The suspension takes effect Dec. 12. Under the moratorium, Russia will halt inspections and verifications of its military sites by NATO countries and will no longer be obligated to limit the number of conventional weapons deployed west of the Urals.

The 1990 arms control treaty set limits on the deployment of heavy conventional weapons by NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, to ease tensions along the border between the old Eastern bloc and Western Europe. The treaty was revised in 1999 after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russia ratified the updated treaty in 2004, but the United States and other NATO members have refused to follow suit, saying Moscow first must fulfill obligations to withdraw forces from Georgia and from Moldova's separatist region of Trans-Dniester.

Both houses of parliament passed the law on the moratorium at Putin's initiative.

Putin called for Russia's temporary withdrawal from the treaty amid mounting anger in the Kremlin over U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in eastern Europe.

The original Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was negotiated and concluded during the last years of the Cold War and established comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe (from the Atlantic to the Urals) and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry. The treaty proposed equal limits for the two "groups of states-parties", NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

The Treaty was signed in Paris on November 19, 1990 by 22 states. The CFE Treaty sets equal ceilings for each bloc (NATO and the Warsaw pact), from the Atlantic to the Urals, on key armaments essential for conducting surprise attacks and initiating large-scale offensive operations. Collectively, the treaty participants have agreed that neither side may have more than:

20,000 tanks;
20,000 artillery pieces;
30,000 armored combat vehicles (ACVs);
6,800 combat aircraft; and
2,000 attack helicopters.

The treaty further limits the proportion of armaments that can be held by any one country in Europe to about one-third of the total for all countries in Europe - the "sufficiency" rule. These limits are:

13,300 tanks;
13,700 artillery pieces;
20,000 armored combat vehicles (ACVs);
5,150 combat aircraft; and
1,500 attack helicopters.

© 1999-2006. «PRAVDA.Ru». 


Pentagon decides to keep military presence in Europe because of Russia’s power

The USA decided not to cut its military presence in Europe, Austria’s Die Presse wrote yesterday. U.S. troops were heavily deployed in the Old World during the opposition between the United States and the Soviet Union. When the Cold War ended, the Pentagon started to evacuate the troops from Europe. The U.S. administration planned to keep the deployment of only 24,000 servicemen by the end of 2008 as opposed to 43,000 military men currently serving in Europe.

However, Washington apparently changed its mind against the background of Russia’s rising powers. General David McKiernan said that the U.S. troops would stay on their European bases, because the Russian power started rising, the Austrian newspaper wrote.

“If this is a reaction to Russia’s decision to suspend its participation in the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty then it is a weak and a nonsensical statement to make. It reminds a person in a state of hysterics, not knowing what to say and how to react to something. The U.S. administration basically ignored our suggestions regarding the missile defense system. Now they start to rattle their weapons near our borders again. What’s next – another Cold War? This is a matter of the past, and no one wants to go back there again,” the Vice President of Russia’s Military Expert Board said in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

The USA has about 730 military installations all over the world outside its territory controlled by the Pentagon. The US has nearly 1.4 million active personnel, and over 369,000 of those are deployed outside the United States and its territories.

In the meantime, The Party of European Left (EL) opposed the extension of the missile defense and U.S. military bases in Europe, EL's newly elected chairman Lothar Bisky said at the close of the EL three-day congress in Prague on Saturday.

"Europe needs neither an anti-missile shield nor an armament agency. This would only provoke further armament. Europe needs culture of peace," said Bisky, viewed as a politician who unified two left-wing parties in Germany, with voter preferences of up to 30 percent in some of the East German regions.

His speech came as an reaction to Prague and Warsaw's ongoing negotiations with Washington about the possible building of a U.S. radar installation and a base with interceptor missiles on Czech and Polish soil, respectively, Xinhua.net reports.

The EL was established in Rome in 2004. It associated 29 European left-wing and communist parties from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland and other countries, most of which stand to the left of social democrats on the political scene.

Source: agencies



Russia accuses NATO of "muscle-flexing" near Russia's frontiers
20.11.2007 Source: AP © URL: http://english.pravda.ru/russia/101283-NATO_Russia-0

Russia accused NATO of "muscle-flexing" near Russia's border and now is going to suspend its obligations under a key European arms treaty.

Vladimir Putin's angry statement came amid tensions between Russia and the West, and it reflected the increasingly assertive posture taken by the Kremlin in the run-up to Dec. 2 parliamentary elections.

"In violation of previous agreements, military resources of NATO members are being built up next to our borders," Putin told a meeting of military officials. "Of course, we cannot allow ourselves to remain indifferent to this obvious muscle-flexing."

Putin also gave senior generals a dressing-down over the military's poor living conditions - remarks apparently aimed at winning the hearts of military voters less than two weeks before the election.

Putin's decision to lead the ticket of the main pro-Kremlin United Russia party is expected to help the party tighten its overwhelming control of parliament's lower chamber.

Disputes between Russia and the West have multiplied in recent years, with military disagreements topping the list. U.S. plans to establish missile defense sites in Eastern Europe have provoked a harsh reaction from Moscow, which has long been concerned about the expansion of NATO into former Soviet republics and former Soviet-bloc states.

Putin said the suspension of Russia's obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, or CFE, which limits the deployment of tanks, aircraft and heavy conventional weapons across the continent, was part of Russia's response.

Both houses of the Russian parliament have endorsed the suspension, which is scheduled to take effect Dec. 12. Putin justified the suspension by pointing to NATO nations' failure to ratify an amended version of the treaty.

"We won't observe any obligations unilaterally," Putin said, frowning. "Our partners haven't ratified the amended version of the treaty, and some haven't even signed it. Shall we do it unilaterally for years?"

NATO spokesman James Appathurai dismissed Putin's talk of NATO's muscle-flexing.

"All NATO members continue to abide by the restrictions on the numbers and movements of equipment like tanks and aircraft which the CFE treaty requires, even if it hasn't entered into force, so there is no need to talk about muscle-flexing," he said.

"NATO allies would certainly regret if Russia were unilaterally to impose a moratorium on its participation and adherence to the CFE treaty," he said.

The 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which originally set limits on the weapons of NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, was revised in 1999. Russia says the old version has lost relevance because former Soviet satellites have joined NATO.

Russia ratified the updated treaty in 2004, but the United States and other NATO members have refused to follow suit, saying Moscow first must fulfill obligations to withdraw forces from Georgia and from Moldova's separatist Trans-Dniester region. The Kremlin has said there should be no link.

Relations between the United States and Russia were already strained over the U.S. plans to build missile defense bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Putin said the U.S. plan would erode Russia's nuclear deterrent and dismissed Washington's claim that the missile shield was necessary to counter a missile threat from Iran.

As a counterproposal, Putin offered the United States joint use of a Russian-operated radar in Azerbaijan. But U.S. officials said the radar couldn't be considered as a replacement for the European sites.

"Regrettably, Russian proposals about the creation of a joint missile defense system with equal access for all its participants have remained unanswered," Putin said Tuesday.

He warned that Russia would increase the combat-readiness of its strategic nuclear forces to ensure a "swift and adequate response to any aggressor."

Putin has said previously that Moscow could respond to the U.S. missile shield by targeting prospective U.S. missile defense sites in Europe.

Russian officials have also warned that Russia could pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a landmark document signed by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1987 that banned the entire class of medium-range missiles.

However, the Kremlin hasn't taken any action on the pact, apparently fearing a strong U.S. response.

"We shouldn't be in a hurry to withdraw from this treaty," Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, the chief of Russia's military General Staff was quoted by news agencies as saying Tuesday. "We should try to pull other nations developing such missiles into this pact."

© 1999-2006. «PRAVDA.Ru». 

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 December 2007 )
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