USIS Washington File

09 December 1999

Fact Sheet: Adapted CFE Treaty Addresses NATO and Russian Security Concerns

(Adapted treaty is "a cornerstone of European security") (634)

The Department of State on December 9 issued the following fact sheet
addressing the adaptation of the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in
Europe (CFE) Treaty:

The Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty has been a
cornerstone of European military stability since its signature in
1990. Adaptation of the CFE Treaty has been an integral part of our
European security strategy since the May 1996 CFE Review Conference
when the U.S. and its Allies agreed to update the Treaty to take
account of changes that had occurred in Europe since CFE was signed.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, the
Treaty's two-group structure (16 NATO allies on the one hand, and
former Warsaw Pact countries on the other) became obsolete. Updating
the Treaty took on added importance with the decision to enlarge NATO.
Adaptation was needed to ensure that both old and new NATO allies
could transfer among each other the right to hold specific amounts of
equipment under the Treaty.

Politically, the process of adaptation has played a pivotal role in
managing Russian concerns and expectations regarding NATO enlargement,
through both the Madrid and Washington NATO Summits. NATO allies
addressed deeply-held Russian concerns by accepting provisions in CFE
which demonstrated that NATO did not contemplate a massive eastward
shift in peacetime military potential as a result of enlargement. But
this remains a very "NATO-friendly" Treaty.

The "Agreement on Adaptation" not only benefits the U.S. but also was
strongly supported by our allies and Treaty partners. Key benefits are
highlighted below:

-- The adapted Treaty completes the unfinished business of putting
Cold War Europe's dividing lines behind us. The fact that we are
ensuring the long-term viability of the central elements of European
arms control as a means of strengthening a stable peace is important
to our allies.

-- The Treaty is good for NATO. It ensures that there are no
second-class allies, and that there are no arms control constraints
that could block NATO enlargement. It also protects NATO's essential
military flexibility to deal with a range of possible requirements,
from military exercises to crisis management.

-- The adapted Treaty retains special limits on Russian forces in the
flank region. This was critical for our allies, Turkey and Norway, and
for Russia's neighbors, such as Georgia and Moldova, and Azerbaijan.
Our allies took the lead in crafting provisions, which grant Russia
additional flexibility on its flank territory, while requiring
reductions in Russian forces located outside its borders.

-- Enhanced transparency provisions will result in significantly more
information on military forces, and the number of on-site inspections
will be increased to provide for enhanced capabilities to track forces
in the current security environment.

-- The adapted Treaty enhances regional stability and underscores the
sovereignty of Russia's neighbors by strengthening the requirements
for host nation consent to the presence of foreign forces. The
requirement for notifications to all parties as to whether consent has
been granted is a key provision for a number of non-NATO states,
especially Moldova and Georgia. These states also were able to reach
bilateral agreements with Russia on force withdrawals, referenced in
the politically binding CFE Final Act, a document associated with the
Adaptation Agreement, and in the OSCE Summit Declaration.

-- The adapted Treaty allows for accession by other European states,
thus opening the possibility of extending this stable security regime
throughout Europe.

Without adaptation, the current CFE Treaty would atrophy. The
stability, transparency, and predictability provided by CFE have made
it a cornerstone of European security.

(end Fact Sheet)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State)