Russia decided to permanently suspend its participation in the Treaty on Conventional Arms in Europe (CFE Treaty). 10 March this year, she withdrew from the Joint Advisory Group of the CFE Treaty, the last acting body, a thin thread connecting our country with this agreement.
Mikhail Ulyanov, Director of the Department for Non-Proliferation and Arms Control at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, explained to journalists that “in practical terms, this (withdrawal from the Joint Consultative Group. - V.L.) means that the decision of 2007 to suspend Russia’s participation in the CFE Treaty is becoming comprehensive. Then we made an exception only for this group. By suspending participation in the treaty as a whole, we expected to use it (the group) as a platform for dialogue, maybe even for negotiations. These expectations were not met. Because American colleagues have banned their European allies to talk with Russia and volunteered to resolve all problems with Russia on their own. They did not succeed. ”
Many prominent Russian politicians have already responded to the final withdrawal of Russia from the CFE Treaty. The head of the Committee on Defense and Security of the Federation Council, Viktor Ozerov, said that Russia's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty "is a logical step and meets the current political and military realities."
The head of the State Duma Defense Committee, Vladimir Komoyedov, blamed Washington for the incident.
“Russia was forced to suspend its participation in the CFE Treaty due to US actions,” he said in comments for TASS, “under the current administration of the White House, one should hardly expect any prospects for creating an analogue of the 1990 treaty of the year. “They (the leaders of the United States. - V.L.) probably did everything to unleash their hands,” the admiral emphasized.
Leonid Kalashnikov, deputy chairman of the State Duma’s international affairs committee, added to his colleague: “Russian initiatives aimed at ensuring Europe’s security have been smashed about the non-constructive position of the West.” The same idea was expressed by the former head of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, Army General Yuri Baluyevsky. "The reason for the suspension by Russia of participation in the CFE Treaty was the actions of the colleagues under the treaty," he concluded.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg also defined his position on the final withdrawal of Russia from the CFE Treaty. As expected, he said that the alliance was disappointed with the decision of Moscow.
TRUST UNDER CONTROL
But what is the CFE Treaty? And why is he paid so much attention? For people who are not familiar with the subtleties of the relationship between Russia and the North Atlantic Alliance, this abbreviation sounds a mystery. And in order to lift the veil over it, you will have to go back 25 years ago, in November 19 1990, when in Paris the countries of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO) and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (ATS) countries signed the Treaty about conventional forces in Europe.
On the one hand, he limited the number of heavy weapons of both sides by five parameters - by tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery installations, combat aircraft and combat helicopters, and on the other hand, set quotas for this military equipment for each of the signatories to the CFE Treaty. In sum, they were almost equal, both for NATO, the 16 states that were then members of this organization, and for the ATS, and the seven member states of the Warsaw Pact. After the treaty entered into force (this happened after its ratification in 1992), 24 tanks, 093 armored combat vehicles, 33 artillery pieces, 827 combat aircraft and 19 attack helicopters could be deployed on their territories. For ATS, these quotas were (respectively) 831, 5118, 1685, 21 and 473, and for Russia - 32, 702, 20, 368 and 6461. Moreover, the levels of these weapons were distributed among the regions of Central Europe and its flank areas so that nowhere is a decisive advantage created that could threaten neighbors with aggressive actions.
At the same time, the treaty demanded that each participant regularly, every six months, inform their partners about the presence of five types of specified weapons in one or another point of their country (in its European part), naming a specific military unit and its geographical coordinates, and also opened unprecedented and previously unthinkable opportunity for the military from NATO or ATS to come to the site and check the accuracy of the information received. In fact, the CFE Treaty established new standards of trust in Europe between two, as it seemed, irreconcilable rivals - ATS and NATO. A trust based on unprecedented military openness and clear, transparent, based on legal international norms, regular control over the military activities of the opposite side.
But here's a paradox stories. The CFE Treaty entered into force on November 9, 1992, when both the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union ceased to exist. There was a new Russia. Practically all the countries that were part of the Department of Internal Affairs, as well as some of the former Soviet republics that were covered by the terms of the treaty, joined NATO. The quotas for armaments in the North Atlantic alliance began to exceed Russian by some indicators three to four times, which, of course, did not contribute to building trust between the parties and the security of the Russian state. It is ridiculous that the CFE Treaty, adopted, as recorded therein, “to establish a safe and stable balance of conventional weapons in Europe at lower levels, as well as to eliminate inequalities detrimental to stability and security, to eliminate the potential for launching a surprise attack and launching large-scale offensive actions in Europe ”, at the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, fixed this“ inequality detrimental to stability and security ”and froze the lack of a balance of conventional weapons.
It was necessary to adapt the CFE Treaty to the changed historical conditions, which was done at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul 19 in November 1999. There, for each country - party to the contract, and they became 30, their quotas and their heavy weapon ceilings were defined. For example, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia received the right to 220 tanks, 135 armored combat vehicles, 285 artillery systems, 100 combat aircraft and 50 attack helicopters. Belarus (respectively) on 1800, 2600, 1615, 294 and 80. Hungary - 835, 1700, 840, 180 and 108. Germany - 3444, 3281, 2255, 765 and 280. France - 1226, 3700, 1192, 800 and 374. USA (in Europe) - 1812, 3017, 1553, 784 and 396. Russia - 6360, 11 280, 6315, 3416 and 855 ... The control procedures provided for in the “old” agreement were also maintained.
But in the same place, at this summit, in the documents that are not directly related to the CFE Treaty, the NATO countries fixed the condition that they ratify the adapted treaty only after Russia withdraws its troops from Georgia and Moldova.
Russian military bases were withdrawn from Georgia in 2005, although in Abkhazia and South Ossetia there remained domestic peacekeeping units on the Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Ossetian conflict line, introduced there in one case on the basis of an agreement adopted by the heads of the CIS, in the other - in accordance with the Russian-Georgian Dagomys Agreement. The Russian 14 Army was withdrawn from Moldova. There remained only our peacekeeping units, which, according to the bilateral agreement between Moldova and Russia, signed by the presidents of the two countries, control (by the way, together with the Moldovan and Transdniestrian peacekeepers) the observance of the security regime in the conflict settlement zone and protect warehouses with weapons in the Kolbasno village, which Transnistria considers its own, and Russia - its own.
Nevertheless, the NATO countries under the influence of the United States refused to ratify the adapted CFE Treaty. Although it was ratified by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan (part of its territory is within the zone of the treaty). And the Baltic countries that joined the North Atlantic Alliance did not join this document at all. There was a strange situation. The officers of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as part of the NATO inspections, could come, for example, to the Kaliningrad region and check for the presence of certain heavy weapons there. But the Russian officers could not make a return visit: the Baltic countries are not parties to the CFE Treaty. And then new states were formed in the Balkans, where there are bases of the United States and other countries of the alliance. And they, too, were outside the CFE Treaty.
The warnings of Moscow that if the states that have signed the adapted CFE Treaty do not proceed to ratify it, Russia will withdraw from this treaty and have not had any effect. And in December 2007, by decree of President Vladimir Putin, our country suspended its participation in the treaty. That is, it stopped informing its former partners about the presence, quantity, deployment and movement of its heavy weapons in the European part of the country, did not accept military inspections from NATO countries and, of course, did not send its officers to such inspections.
There was always a short and clear answer to all dissatisfaction from the capitals of Western states: first, ratification of the adapted CFE Treaty, then Russia's return to the requirements of the treaty. And after the Georgian aggression against South Ossetia, Moscow’s recognition of the independence and sovereignty of Tskhinval and Sukhum, the conclusion of bilateral agreements on the deployment of Russian military bases on the territory of these two states, it was no longer necessary to talk with Western countries about ratification of the adapted CFE Treaty. Especially after the nationalist coup in Kiev supported by the West, the return of the Crimea to Russia and the unleashing of a civil war by the Ukrainian government in the east of Nezalezhnaya Square, it is certainly impossible to recall the return to the CFE Treaty even as it was modernized in 1999 in Istanbul. The CFE Treaty, which has turned into an agreement for a narrow circle of people, mainly for NATO members, is in principle no one needs today.
PROSPECTS ARE ABSENT
Without participation in the CFE Treaty, Russia does not need this treaty either for the United States or for NATO. Everyone there knows about the deployment and movement of their troops in Europe, including in the states of Eastern Europe. Moreover, the public and the media are constantly informing their militaristic plans. To control this process, in fact they themselves, they need nothing. They defiantly refused to provide official information to Russia about their actions in 2011. What is called, completely untied his hands. For us, this was not a surprise. Arrogant Washington does not consider it necessary to listen to the opinion of Moscow on the most pressing security issues. Including on the expansion of NATO, on the deployment of a missile defense system, a violation of contractual obligations on the RSMD ... Although it makes unsupported counterclaims.
For certain, they certainly also know about the situation in the South Caucasus in Washington and Brussels for certain and without the CFE Treaty. The American and NATO advisers, as they say, dine and spend the night in Georgia and receive, both official information in accordance with the requirements of the treaty, and, judging by the usual Washington practice, informal. Including the situation in Armenia and Azerbaijan. True, they have certain difficulties with the territory of unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh, but this is not the most serious headache for the Pentagon today.
Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan remain in the CFE Treaty. Minsk and Astana, as it should be expected, fulfill their obligations to the contract flawlessly. By the way, Belarusian officers will represent the interests of Russia in the CFE Joint Consultative Group. And about Square, where, with short breaks for a truce, there is a fratricidal civil war, chaos continues in the Armed Forces and in government, there is nothing to say. She probably still fell indefinitely from the process of verification and transparency of contractual obligations.
Russia's prospects for the next five to ten years to return to the CFE Treaty, as some politicians are talking about, also look vague. The situation has changed dramatically compared not only with 1990, but also with 1999 year. And not only because of the expansion of NATO to the east and the admission to it of the states bordering on our country, the approach of the Armed Forces of the North Atlantic Alliance, primarily the United States, to the Russian borders, which creates a serious threat to Russia's security. To continue to pretend that we do not notice this is impossible. Especially when Washington, with a mania worthy of better use, is deploying the bases of its missile defense system in Romania and Poland. When the US and NATO ships with the Aegis system and SM-3 antimissiles, with Tomahawk cruise missiles on board, enter the Black and Baltic Seas, approach the Barents Sea. When they arrange continuous exercises in the Baltic countries, they throw dozens of tanks and armored vehicles that do not fit not only in any CFE norms, but also the requirements of the NATO-Russia Founding Act. When the atlantists place their command posts and command and control systems in Eastern Europe. According to the author, it is not possible to reflect on the negotiation of a new treaty on the armed forces in Europe in these conditions.
Dialogue does not work. We do not want to hear and listen, do not want to talk with us on an equal footing, take into account our national interests. For us, the CFE Treaty is dead. Finally and irrevocably. Remember, it happened eight years ago. And today his body is finally buried. Peace be upon him.