Attempts by the United States to make changes to the Vienna Document 2011 on confidence- and security-building measures and once again lobbying its interests through the OSCE, leaving Russia with a nose, are obvious, but so far unsuccessful. The debates during the OSCE workshop on military doctrines, which took place on February 16-17 in Vienna, did not lead to anything, but left a “dirty mark” in stories OSCE activities.
However, the determination of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, with whom, on the orders of the United States, he makes official statements to reform agreements with Russia, approved by the Vienna document regulating military exercises and the deployment of troops in Europe, speaks of wanting to achieve acceptable for the entire Alliance and, in particular, the US solution.
It should be noted that the Vienna Document provides a mechanism for consultation and cooperation in connection with unusual military activities and in relation to dangerous military incidents. “In order to increase transparency, each participating State may request clarification on the information provided from any other participating State. Questions must be submitted within two months after receiving State party information. The participating States will strive for a full and prompt response to such questions. It is understood that these exchanges are for informational purposes only. Questions and answers can be transmitted to all other participating States, ”the document says.
The program of military contacts of the document implies the expansion and facilitation of the exchange of information and visits, however, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has repeatedly stated that the treaty should be amended. So, reporting on the results of the Alliance’s activities in 2015, Stoltenberg reported that the NATO Council met with the OSCE Secretary General to discuss an increase in the “degree of transparency” in mutual control within the framework of the Vienna Document.
“We have raised the issue of strengthening these mechanisms with our Russian partners several times, we will continue to discuss them within the OSCE,” said Stoltenberg.
In an interview with The Financial Times, Stoltenberg admitted that the Alliance feared the risk of accidental or sudden outbreak of war. In addition, the exercises can be used as a cover for military interventions.
As noted by The Financial Times, NATO is concerned that Russia can use maneuvers to cover armed intervention. The North Atlantic alliance said that Russia was able to easily invade or seize territory in a small Baltic state, using fewer than ten thousand troops.
According to Alexei Arbatov, Director of the Center for International Security at the IMEMO RAN, the Vienna Document really needs to be modernized in a slightly different context, given the changed conditions in the field of international security.
“Conflicts are becoming tense, we need a lot of transparency in each other’s actions. Secrecy is needed for those who are preparing something. Another thing is that the modernization contract should take into account the interests of all parties, ”says Arbatov.
The dissatisfaction of Russia with the increased activity of the Alliance near the Russian borders, in particular, in the Baltic countries, is quite explicable. Moscow believes that these actions violate the Founding Act between Russia and NATO on the non-deployment of the Alliance’s permanent infrastructure near the Russian borders, signed in the 1997 year. NATO declares that military and equipment are placed only on rotational conditions.
In turn, the Deputy Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Anatoly Antonov, noted on this fact: “When we worked out these documents, we didn’t think that the countries would take steps to circumvent the provisions of the document or the unlawful use of certain provisions, abuse of their right, unfair use of the provisions of a number of documents to solve their goals. "
Such frictions appear in the “contractual framework,” which today NATO and the US want to reconsider to please themselves. In any case, the main world power centers do not want to show, without any particular need, what they have and invite international observers to the military exercises they are conducting.