1973 -- October 30 MBFR TALKS The United States, the Soviet Union, and other North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Warsaw Pact countries (Warsaw Treaty Organization, WTO) formally begin the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) negotiations in Vienna to reduce conventional military forces in Central Europe to equal but significantly lower levels.
On November 22, the West presents its proposal for first-phase cuts in Soviet and U.S. personnel: The United States would withdraw 29,000 soldiers in return for the Soviet withdrawal of a tank army (five divisions, 1,700 tanks, and 68,000 troops). In the second phase, both sides would reduce troop strength to a common ceiling of 700,000 ground forces and 900,000 ground and air forces combined. These common ceilings remain the centerpiece of the NATO position throughout the lengthy negotiations.
The Warsaw Treaty Organization proposes initial reductions by each alliance of 20,000 troops and their equipment, followed by a freeze on the forces of the individual nations. This is to be followed by a 15 percent reduction in manpower and equipment by each NATO and WTO country. The Warsaw Pact proposal differs from that of NATO in three ways:
Reductions are by an equal percentage rather than down to an equal ceiling. Reductions include equipment as well as manpower. Limits apply to nations rather than to alliances.
1975 -- August 1 HELSINKI FINAL ACT The United States, the Soviet Union, and 33 other nations in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) sign a concluding document in Helsinki. The Final Act comprises three "baskets" covering security, economic, and humanitarian issues. Specific confidence- and security-building measures (CSBMs) include notification 21 days in advance of maneuvers involving more than 25,000 troops and invitations to observe such maneuvers.
1975 -- December 16 NATO NUCLEAR PROPOSAL NATO supplements its first-phase MBFR proposal with an offer to withdraw 54 nuclear-capable U.S. F-4 aircraft, 36 Pershing I missile launchers, and 1,000 nuclear warheads.
1976 -- February WTO NUCLEAR COUNTERPROPOSAL The WTO makes a nuclear counterproposal in the MBFR:
o The Soviet Union and the United States would take an equal percentage reduction in manpower (2 to 3 percent).
o The two countries would also withdraw 54 nuclear-capable aircraft, a number of SCUD-B and Pershing I launchers, an equal number of nuclear warheads, 300 tanks, and a corps headquarters.
1976 -- June DATA EXCHANGE In order to establish an agreed data base, the WTO provides manpower figures on its forces. It claims it has 815,000 ground force personnel and 182,000 air force personnel. NATO's estimate for WTO ground forces is 956,000, and for its air force manpower, 224,000. This data discrepancy is never resolved and plagues the MBFR talks until their end.
1979 -- December NATO FIRST-PHASE REDUCTION PROPOSAL NATO proposes a first-phase MBFR reduction of 30,000 Soviet and 13,000 U.S. personnel.
1980 -- July WTO COUNTERPROPOSAL After implementing its own unilateral reduction of 20,000 Russian troops, the WTO proposes initial MBFR reductions of 20,000 additional Russian and 13,000 U.S. troops.
1984 -- April 19 NATO DATA DEFERRAL PROPOSAL NATO proposes in the MBFR talks to defer full agreement on the actual size of WTO forces until the first troop reductions have taken place, if the WTO will accept Western verification requirements.
1985 -- December 5 NEW NATO MBFR PROPOSAL In an effort to break the data deadlock, NATO makes a new proposal at the MBFR talks:
o Deferral of the requirement for agreement on the number of troops in the reductions area.
o A first-phase agreement in which the United States will reduce its ground forces by 5,000 and the Soviet Union will reduce its ground forces by 11,500.
o A verification regime that will include a detailed data exchange and 30 inspections a year.
1986 -- April 18 SOVIET CONVENTIONAL DISARMAMENT PLAN Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev proposes "substantial reductions in all the components of the land forces and tactical air forces of the European states and the relevant forces of the United States and Canada deployed in Europe...from the Atlantic to the Urals" (ATTU). He emphasizes the importance of "dependable verification," including "both national technical means and international forms of verification, including, if need be, on-site inspection."
1986 -- June 11 WTO BUDAPEST APPEAL The WTO formalizes General Secretary Gorbachev's disarmament proposal by announcing a new plan for reducing conventional forces in Europe. The proposal calls for each side to reduce its conventional forces by between 110,000 and 150,000 troops within the next one to two years. By the early 1990s, each side would cut its forces by 25 percent, or by approximately 500,000 soldiers each.
1986 -- September 22 STOCKHOLM DOCUMENT In Stockholm, the 35-nation Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe (CDE), which opened in January 1984, adopts an accord designed to reduce the risk of war in Europe. Under the Stockholm Document, NATO and the Warsaw Pact agree to give each other advance notice, in some cases by as much as two years, of all major military activities (involving at least 13,000 troops or 300 tanks) in the ATTU. For any military activity involving more than 17,000 troops, observers from all other signatory nations will have to be invited. The document also provides for air and ground on-site challenge inspections, without the right of refusal, to verify compliance.
1986 -- December 11 NATO PROPOSAL FOR NEW NEGOTIATING FORUM NATO foreign ministers propose a new forum, to supersede the MBFR, for discussion of European force reductions in the ATTU.
1987 -- July 10 NATO CSCE PROPOSAL At the third review meeting of the CSCE in Vienna, the United States and its NATO allies table a proposal calling for two distinct negotiations to take place within the framework of the CSCE process:
o One set of negotiations, involving all 35 CSCE-participating states, would continue the work of the Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe.
o The other set of negotiations, involving only NATO and WTO members, would have as its goal strengthening stability in Europe at lower levels of conventional forces.
1988 -- December 7 SOVIET UNILATERAL CONVENTIONAL FORCE CUTS In an address to the United Nations, Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev announces a unilateral decision to cut Soviet armed forces by 500,000 troops within two years. He also announces cuts of 8,500 artillery pieces, 800 aircraft, and 10,000 tanks in East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the western Soviet Union, and the withdrawal of 50,000 Soviet troops from Eastern Europe.
1989 -- January 10 MANDATE FOR TALKS ON CONVENTIONAL FORCES The 23 members of NATO and the WTO initial a mandate for the Negotiation on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE). The mandate sets out the following objectives for CFE:
o Strengthen stability and security in Europe through the establishment of a stable and secure balance of conventional forces at lower levels in Europe from the ATTU.
o Eliminate disparities prejudicial to stability and security.
o Eliminate the capability for launching surprise attack and for initiating large-scale offensive action.
The mandate also calls for an "effective and strict verification regime," to include on-site inspections as a matter of right.
1989 -- January 15 MANDATE FOR CSBM NEGOTIATIONS The concluding document of the Vienna follow-up meeting of the CSCE calls for resumed negotiations on CSBMs. The CSBMs will focus on openness and predictability of military activities and open access to military information.
1989 -- March 9 OPENING OF CFE NEGOTIATIONS The MBFR talks formally conclude on February 2, and, on March 9, the 23 members of NATO and the WTO formally open the CFE negotiations in Vienna. NATO tables a proposal to limit:
o Main battle tanks to 20,000 for each side.
o Armored combat vehicles (ACVs) to 28,000 for each side.
o Artillery pieces to 16,500 for each side.
NATO also proposes:
o A "sufficiency" rule limiting one country to no more than 30 percent of the equipment in any one category.
o A stationing rule to limit within the ATTU forces deployed outside of national territory.
The WTO presents a more detailed version of the Budapest Appeal (see June 11, 1986):
o A first-phase reduction to "equal collective ceilings" for tanks, ACVs, artillery, aircraft, helicopters, and manpower at 10 to 15 percent below that of the side with the lowest level.
o A second-phase reduction of an additional 25 percent, or approximately 500,000 troops.
o A third phase in which armed forces will be given a strictly defensive character.
1989 -- May 12 U.S. OPEN SKIES INITIATIVE U.S. President George Bush renews and expands upon President Dwight Eisenhower's 1955 Open Skies proposal and invites the Soviet Union and other members of the WTO and NATO to agree to unarmed surveillance flights over their territories (see section 3, July 21, 1955).
President Bush says that such flights, "complementing satellites, would provide regular scrutiny for both sides. Such unprecedented territorial access would show the world the true meaning of the concept of openness."
1989 -- May 23 WTO ACCEPTANCE OF NATO'S PARITY APPROACH The WTO proposes parity with NATO in Europe at the level of 20,000 tanks, 28,000 ACVs, 24,000 artillery pieces, 1,500 tactical strike aircraft, 1,700 helicopters, and 1.35 million troops overall, of which 350,000 are foreign-stationed.
1989 -- May 29-30 U.S. INITIATIVE AT NATO SUMMIT At NATO's 40th anniversary summit, President Bush proposes to:
o Expand NATO's original proposal to include reductions of land-based combat aircraft and helicopters to equal ceilings 15 percent below current NATO levels. o Cut the manpower of U.S. and Soviet forces stationed outside national borders in Europe to equal ceilings of approximately 275,000.
1989 -- June 12 AGREEMENT ON DANGEROUS MILITARY ACTIVITIES The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Dangerous Military Activities (DMA) Agreement, which commits both nations to seek to prevent four kinds of dangerous military activities during peacetime:
o Unintentional or emergency entry into the national territory of the other side.
o Hazardous use of laser devices.
o Disruption of military operations in a mutually agreed upon "Special Caution Area."
o Interference with the command and control networks of either side.
1989 -- July 13 NATO'S EXPANDED CFE PROPOSAL NATO tables a revised CFE position proposing to reduce land-based combat aircraft to 5,700 for each side, land-based combat helicopters to 1,900 for each alliance, and personnel to 275,000 for the United States and the Soviet Union.
1989 -- September 8-November 10 MILITARY DOCTRINE SEMINAR During the third round of the CSBM negotiations, the participating states agree to a Western proposal to conduct a seminar on military doctrine. High-level military representatives of the 35 states will be invited to discuss their military doctrines as they relate to force structure and deployment, training, and military budgets.
1989 -- December 2-3 MALTA SUMMIT At a meeting in Malta between President Bush and General Secretary Gorbachev, the two leaders agree to complete a CFE agreement by the end of 1990 and to sign it at a summit of NATO and WTO leaders.
1990 -- January 16-February 5 FIRST CSBM MILITARY DOCTRINE SEMINAR General Colin Powell, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his 34 counterparts meet at the CSBM talks in Vienna to discuss military doctrines. More detailed discussion among experts covers force structure, military activities and training, and military budgeting and planning.
1990 -- February 12-28 FIRST ROUND OF OPEN SKIES NEGOTIATIONS At the beginning of the Open Skies negotiations, the 23 NATO and WTO nations agree that an Open Skies regime should:
o Ensure maximum possible openness and minimum restrictions for observation flights.
o Include the right to conduct, and the obligation to receive, observation flights.
o Provide for the use of unarmed observation aircraft and equipment capable of fulfilling the goals of the regime.
o Allow for the possible participation of other countries, primarily the European Neutral and Non-Aligned States (NNA).
1990 -- September 9 LIMITS ON TROOP LEVELS In light of German unification and Soviet troop withdrawals, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker announces that efforts to limit U.S. and Soviet troop levels "have been overtaken by events" and no longer pertain. He says he expects the issue will be the subject of future discussions (see November 26, 1990).
1990 -- October 11 AGREEMENT ON CFE FLANK LIMITS AND AIRCRAFT LEVELS CFE delegates agree on armament levels (4,700 tanks, 5,900 ACVs, and 6,000 artillery pieces) in the flanks (Bulgaria, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Romania, Turkey, and the northern and southern military districts of the Soviet Union). On October 15, agreement is reached on an overall aircraft ceiling of 6,800.
1990 -- November 3 ALLOCATION OF WTO WEAPONS The foreign ministers of the WTO countries sign an agreement to formalize the allocation of weapons within the alliance. NATO's allocation is made informally within the alliance.
1990 -- November 17 VIENNA DOCUMENT 1990 At a CSCE summit in Paris, the United States and the other CSCE countries agree to the Vienna Document 1990 (VD90) on CSBMs. The VD90 expands and improves upon the notification measures and information exchanges in the Stockholm Document of 1986. It calls for annual information exchanges on troop strength, weapons systems, and military budgets, and establishes a Conflict Prevention Center to be based in Vienna.
1990 -- November 19 CFE TREATY SIGNED The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe is signed by the United States and 21 other NATO and WTO countries at a CSCE summit in Paris. The treaty creates a military balance between two "groups of states-parties" -- corresponding at the time to NATO and the WTO -- by reducing to equal levels the holdings of each group in five categories of conventional weapons:
o 20,000 battle tanks, of which 3,500 are to be in storage.
o 30,000 ACVs, of which 2,700 are to be in storage.
o 20,000 artillery pieces, of which 3,000 are to be in storage.
o 2,000 attack helicopters.
o 6,800 combat aircraft. Under the "sufficiency" provision, no one country may possess "more than approximately one-third of the conventional armaments and equipment limited by the Treaty."
These overall "group" limits are further subject to "zonal" sublimits formed by roughly concentric circles extending outward from a cluster of seven (now eight) countries in the middle of Europe (Germany, Benelux, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia) to the outermost "flanks" (see October 11, 1990).
Reductions of treaty-limited equipment may be by destruction, recategorization, or reclassification, and will take place in three phases over 40 months.
1990 -- November 26 CFE 1A TALKS ON MANPOWER LIMITS CFE 1A talks on manpower limits begin in Vienna.
1991 -- January 21 ARTICLE III DISPUTES The second session of the CFE Treaty's Joint Consultative Group (JCG) opens in Vienna. NATO countries bring up several issues related to Soviet force levels and data declarations. Among the more significant Article III disputes are the following:
o Equipment moved out of the ATTU: Prior to signature of the CFE Treaty, the Soviet Union moved 57,300 items of treaty-limited equipment east of the Urals.
o Resubordination of units: Three Soviet motorized rifle divisions (whose equipment is limited by CFE) were transferred to the Navy (whose equipment is not limited by CFE).
o Data on forces in Europe: The declared levels of Soviet equipment in the ATTU is significantly lower than expected. However, as the extent of equipment transfers out
of the ATTU becomes clearer, the United States acknowledges that it has overestimated residual Soviet forces in the ATTU.
1991 -- April 1 DISSOLUTION OF WTO MILITARY STRUCTURE The Warsaw Pact Military Structure formally dissolves.
1991 -- June 1 RESOLUTION OF ARTICLE III DISPUTES Secretary Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh reach agreement in principle on the Article III disputes during a meeting in Lisbon (see January 21, 1991). On June 14 the Soviet Union formally announces its agreement to:
o Eliminate at least 14,500 pieces of treaty-limited equipment out of the 57,300 items that had been moved East of the Urals prior to signature of the CFE Treaty. "Additional elimination of armaments...will be carried out subsequently as they exhaust their operating and service lives."
o Freeze the equipment in those units transferred to the coastal defense and naval infantry forces, and reduce overall CFE entitlements by an equivalent amount.
1991 -- November 25 U.S. SENATE RATIFICATION OF CFE TREATY The U.S. Senate passes a resolution for ratification of the CFE Treaty by a vote of 90 to 4.
1991 -- December 10 UN RESOLUTION ON "TRANSPARENCY IN ARMAMENTS" The United States votes in the United Nations General Assembly to formally establish a Register of Conventional Arms. Beginning on April 30, 1993, the UN will maintain a register to which states will voluntarily report their arms exports and imports in seven major categories of weapons.
1992 -- February 29 VIENNA DOCUMENT 1992 The CSCE adopts a package of CSBMs in the Vienna Document 1992 (VD92). It includes the provisions of VD90 (see November 17, 1990) while adding the following measures:
o Reduction in the prior notification threshold from 13,000 troops or 300 tanks to 9,000 troops or 250 tanks.
o Two years' prior notification for military activities involving more than 40,000 troops or 900 tanks, with only one such activity per state in any given two-year period. In a single year, participants are constrained from carrying out more than six activities with more than 13,000 troops or 300 tanks.
o Expansion of the zone of application for CSBMs to include the territory of Soviet Union successor states that are beyond the ATTU (i.e., all of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan).
1992 -- March 24 TREATY ON OPEN SKIES The Open Skies Treaty, intended to strengthen confidence and transparency with respect to military activities, is signed during a meeting of the CSCE in Helsinki. Parties to the treaty are required to open their airspace, on a reciprocal basis, to the overflight of their territory by unarmed reconnaissance aircraft. All treaty signatories have access to all collected data.
1992 -- May 15 TASHKENT AGREEMENT The successor states to the Soviet Union with territory within the area of application of the CFE Treaty meet in Tashkent to apportion among themselves the equipment entitlements of the Soviet Union. The agreement is signed and enters into force June 5.
1992 -- July 8 RUSSIAN CFE RATIFICATION The Russian Supreme Soviet ratifies the CFE treaty.
1992 -- July 9-10 CSCE HELSINKI SUMMIT During a two-day Helsinki summit meeting, CSCE leaders approve two major documents. The first, the Helsinki Document 1992, among other provisions, requires members:
o To "start a new negotiation on arms control, disarmament, and confidence- and security-building." o To "enhance regular consultation and to intensify cooperation among [members] on matters related to security, and to further the process of reducing the risk of conflict."
To carry out these tasks the participating states decide to establish a new CSCE Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC), a merger of the CSBM and CFE talks to include all 52 members, and to strengthen the Conflict Prevention Center. Member states also agree to "negotiate new stabilizing measures in respect of military forces and new [CSBMs] designed to ensure greater transparency in the military field."
At the same meeting, 29 states sign the Concluding Act of the Negotiations on Personnel Strength of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE 1A). In this document, the CFE states-parties declare national limits on the personnel strength of their conventional armed forces in the ATTU.
1992 -- July 17 CFE TREATY PROVISIONAL ENTRY INTO FORCE Originally the provisional starting date, after all states ratify the CFE Treaty, this date is confirmed as the official date of entry into force of the treaty.
1992 -- September 22 OPENING OF FORUM FOR SECURITY COOPERATION The Forum for Security Cooperation (FSC) talks begin in Vienna.
1993 -- March RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON THE FLANKS Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev argues that the changed geo-strategic situation suggests a need to revise the CFE Treaty flank zone limits. He claims that "owing to changes in the situation, new quotas are required: It will be necessary to relocate weapons from one district to another, while preserving the overall agreed level."
1993 -- August 6 U.S. SENATE RATIFICATION OF OPEN SKIES TREATY The U.S. Senate passes a resolution for ratification of the Open Skies Treaty by a unanimous vote.
1993 -- September 28 RUSSIAN PRESIDENT ON FLANKS Russian President Boris Yeltsin sends a letter on September 17 to the heads of state of the other parties to the CFE Treaty outlining Russia's reasons for seeking to lift the flank ceiling. On September 28 at the JCG in Vienna, Russia formally proposes suspension of the flank ceilings.
1994 -- November 28 VIENNA DOCUMENT 1994 The CSCE adopts the Vienna Document 1994 (VD94) and the Global Exchange of Military Information (GEMI). Developed by the Forum for Security Cooperation, VD94 supersedes VD92 and includes the following new CSBMs:
o Mandatory information on defense planning, including defense policy and doctrine, force planning, and budget projections through the next five years, to be reported in an Annual Information Exchange.
o Military contacts and cooperation to be expanded, including visits to naval bases, contacts between military units, and joint academic publications.
Under GEMI, a transparency measure that expands the categories of information exchanged by CSCE members, states agree to submit data on all their armed forces, including technical data, command structures, major weapons holdings, and the strength and location of troops.
1994 -- December 5-6 CSCE/OSCE SUMMIT At a CSCE summit meeting in Budapest, the participants agree to:
o Change the name of the CSCE to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
o Endorse early entry into force of the Open Skies Treaty.
o Begin GEMI.
o Endorse the CSBMs contained in VD94.
o Approve a "code of conduct" for the political-military aspects of security.
1995 -- September 20 NATO OFFER ON FLANKS NATO offers to resolve the CFE flank issue by removing certain oblasts (administrative districts) from the flank zone and applying the existing CFE equipment limits to a smaller area.
1995 -- October 23 HYDE PARK SUMMIT U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, meeting at Hyde Park, New York, endorse the general approach of the NATO proposal for resolution of the flank issue.
1995 -- November 17 COMPLETION OF CFE REDUCTIONS Equipment reductions are completed under the CFE Treaty and its limits take full effect. The United States announces that an agreement in principle has been reached to resolve the CFE flank issue. 1995 -- November 21 DAYTON ACCORDS During a meeting in Dayton, Ohio, under the leadership of the United States, the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina is initialed by the Republics of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Croatia, and of Yugoslavia. Annexes 1-A and 1-B of the agreement provide for settlement of military and regional stabilization issues. Annex 1-B obliges all parties to begin negotiations within 30 days to agree on numerical limits, along the lines of the CFE Treaty, on holdings of tanks, artillery, ACVs, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters. This regional arms control agreement is completed on June 5, 1996.
1995 -- December 31 RUSSIAN FAILURE TO DESTROY EQUIPMENT Russia fails to fulfill its June 14, 1991, pledge to destroy by this date 14,500 items of heavy military equipment moved out of the ATTU prior to signature of the CFE Treaty.
1996 -- May 15-31 FIRST CFE REVIEW CONFERENCE The parties to the CFE Treaty hold the first review conference. Since signature, the CFE parties have eliminated over 58,000 pieces of treaty-related equipment, have reduced their armed forces by 1.2 million persons (CFE 1A), and have conducted over 2,500 inspections to ensure compliance with the treaty.
The first CFE Treaty Review Conference resolves the flank issue as well as the question of Russian equipment moved out of the ATTU. Russia agrees to freeze its level of tanks, ACVs, and artillery in the original geographic area of the flank zone and to reduce those forces by May 31, 1999. In addition, by removing some oblasts from the original flank zone, a new, smaller zone is created that will be governed by the original flank limits.
Russia also recommits itself to eliminate by the year 2000 the undestroyed balance of the equipment (see June 1, 1991) that had been moved east out of the ATTU prior to treaty signature. At the same time, the parties to the treaty agree to ease the procedures for destroying that equipment by including "the influence of atmospheric factors." Russia agrees to accept inspection of representative examples of equipment that it claims to be disabled in that manner.
1996 -- June 14 AGREEMENT ON SUB-REGIONAL ARMS CONTROL The Republic of Croatia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Srpska sign the "Agreement on Sub-Regional Arms Control," limiting each state-party's holdings in the five CFE weapons classes (tanks, ACVs, artillery, combat aircraft, and helicopters) and establishing a two-phase, 16-month reduction period. The parties agree to annual data exchanges regarding holdings and to accept inspections to ensure compliance with the treaty.
1996 -- December 1 JCG "THE SCOPE AND PARAMETERS" Partly in response to an October 8, 1996, NATO proposal calling for a reexamination of the CFE Treaty in order to address Russian concerns regarding European security in the face of NATO enlargement, the Joint Consultative Group completes "The Scope and Parameters," setting the terms of reference for such reexamination of the CFE Treaty. The JCG rules out "wholesale renegotiation of the Treaty," calling instead for "adopting specific adaptations for specific purposes."
1996 -- December 1 MEETING OF CFE PARTIES The 30 states-parties to the CFE Treaty meet in Lisbon and approve the document delineating the scope and parameters for the negotiations on the adaptation of the CFE Treaty.
1996 -- December 10 AGREEMENT ON RUSSIA-NATO NEGOTIATIONS NATO foreign ministers agree to begin negotiations with Russia on a possible charter to establish a special relationship between Russia and NATO. The charter negotiations are to be led by NATO Secretary General Javier Solana.
1997 -- January 20 OPENING OF RUSSIA-NATO CHARTER NEGOTIATIONS NATO Secretary General Solana and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov open negotiations on the Russia-NATO charter.
1997 -- February 17 AGREEMENT ON BASIC ELEMENTS FOR ADAPTING CFE A high-level task force reaches agreement on the basic elements for adaptation of the CFE Treaty. The group proposes revising the treaty's current structure of limitations by: (1) abolishing the current group structure, and (2) eliminating the current structure of nested zones. The group recommends no increase in total numbers of treaty-limited equipment (TLE) within the treaty's area of application nor any change in the provision of the Flank Agreement agreed on May 31, 1996. Under the proposal, each state-party will have the chance to review its current declared national maximum levels of holdings and declare anew its national ceiling, though each state-party is expected to declare a lower national ceiling. Each state is also expected to set a territorial ceiling in the three categories of ground equipment at the total of national and stationed equipment permitted on the territory of the state.
1997 -- March 20-21 JOINT STATEMENT ON EUROPEAN SECURITY At the Helsinki Summit, Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin issue a Joint Statement on European Security in which the two leaders essentially agree to disagree on the issue of NATO enlargement. The presidents do, however, agree to work together to create a politically binding document (i.e., not a treaty), to be signed by the 16 leaders of NATO countries and Russia, in order to establish a NATO-Russia relationship that "provide[s] for consultation, coordination, and, to the maximum extent possible where appropriate, joint decision-making and action on security issues of common concern." In response to President Yeltsin's reaffirmation of Russian "concerns that NATO enlargement will lead to a potentially threatening build-up of permanently stationed NATO combat forces near to Russia," President Clinton indicates that NATO is willing to include specific reference to its policy of "no intention, no plan, and no reason" to deploy nuclear weapons on the territories of states that are not now members of the Alliance, nor do they foresee any future need to do so.
1997 -- May 27 NATO-RUSSIA FOUNDING ACT President Clinton and the leaders of the other NATO nations, joined by President Yeltsin, sign the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation, and Security Between NATO and the Russian Federation. The NATO-Russia Founding Act, a politically binding agreement (i.e., not a treaty) calls for creation of a NATO-Russia Joint Council that is intended to "provide a mechanism for consultations, coordination, and, to the maximum extent possible, where appropriate, for joint decisions and joint action with respect to security issues of common concern." The Founding Act does not give Russia any veto power over NATO decision-making or action. In the document, NATO reiterates that it has "no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members, nor any need to change any aspects of NATO's nuclear posture or nuclear policy," nor any plans to deploy substantial numbers of NATO combat forces on the territory of new members.