Alliance’s statement on the Russian Federation’s “suspension” of its CFE obligations
- NATO Allies deeply regret that the Russian Federation has proceeded with its intention to unilaterally “suspend” implementation of CFE Treaty obligations as of 12 December 2007.
- This is particularly disappointing because, as NATO Foreign Ministers recalled in their December 7 communiqué, Allies have worked intensively with other Treaty partners over the past months to try to resolve the Russian Federation’s concerns constructively. NATO Allies continue to place the highest value on the CFE Treaty regime with all its elements and underscore its strategic importance as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security.
- In this regard, we have pursued a multifaceted dialogue to address all outstanding concerns in US-Russian bilateral contacts, in the Joint Consultative Group in Vienna, in informal meetings held in Bad Saarow, Paris, Madrid and most recently during the NATO-Russia Council Ministerial meeting on 7 December 2007. This dialogue offers a constructive way forward on the basis of the parallel action package supported by all Allies, to: resolve outstanding concerns of all States Parties, fulfil remaining commitments reflected in the 1999 CFE Final Act with its Annexes, including those related to the Republic of Moldova and Georgia; lay the basis for ratification of the Agreement on Adaptation by all 30 States Parties; and ensure full implementation of the Treaty by all States Parties. This way forward respects the integrity of the Treaty regime with all its elements and would address the legitimate interests and concerns of all Treaty Partners. In this regard, Allies recall paragraphs 26 - 28 of the final communiqué of NATO Foreign Ministers meeting of 7 December 2007.
- We note that the Russian Federation’s “suspension” is a unilateral measure not provided for under the terms of the CFE Treaty. This step does not contribute to the long-term viability of the CFE Treaty and we urge the Russian Federation to rescind its decision. We also note the Russian Federation’s stated commitment to the CFE regime and its statement that it does not presently intend to withdraw from the Treaty. NATO Allies will carefully monitor the Russian Federation’s compliance with its Treaty obligations.
- NATO Allies reaffirm their right to take any steps provided for by the Treaty and international law. At the same time, they want to resolve the current impasse and preserve the benefits of this landmark Treaty. They have therefore chosen not to respond in kind at this stage to the Russian Federation’s political decision to “suspend” its legal obligations and NATO Allies will continue to meet theirs, without prejudice to any future action they might take. As a first step, when the annual CFE exchange of military information takes place this week, the NATO Allies will meet their obligations.
- Allies’ proposals for parallel actions on outstanding issues are constructive, reasonable, and forward looking. NATO Allies strongly urge the Russian Federation to respond to these efforts, including by implementing existing obligations in full, and not to take further steps that would undermine the future of the CFE regime. We encourage the Russian authorities to work cooperatively with us to resolve outstanding concerns of all States Parties.