NATO also known as North Atlantic Treaty Organization, membe r countries that signed a key Cold War-era security treaty froze their participation in the pact on Tuesday just hours after Russia pulled out, raising fresh questions about the future of arms control agreements in Europe.
Many of NATO’s 31 allies are parties to the Treaty of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which was aimed at preventing Cold War rivals from massing forces at or near their mutual borders. The Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) was signed in November 1990 as the Soviet bloc was crumbling but was not fully ratified until two years later.
NATO said that Tuesday’s action by its signatory members was required because “a situation whereby Allied State Parties abide by the Treaty, while Russia does not, would be unsustainable.”
USA’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said suspending the obligations by Washington and its allies will strengthen NATO’s “deterrence and defence capacity by removing restrictions that impact planning, deployments, and exercises -– restrictions that no longer bind Russia after Moscow’s withdrawal.”
The move doesn’t mean that the U.S. is turning its back on arms control, the senior State Department official said.
“Together with our allies, we are discussing ideas to work with responsible partners to continue efforts toward reducing risk, preventing misperceptions, avoiding conflicts and building trust,” the official said.
What is NATO’s CFE Treaty?
In 1973, the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction Talks (MBFR) opened in Vienna between the United States, the USSR, and other NATO and Warsaw Pact members. The objective of the setting was to achieve a common ground on the reduction of troops and weaponries in Central Europe, including the Benelux countries, East Germany, West Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia.
The sides reached a preparatory agreement to reduce the number of ground troops to 7,00,000 on each side, and air force troops to 2,00,000. In the end, the talks did not achieve the main objective. In April-June 1986, the USSR and the Warsaw Pact called for Europe-wide reductions, and in December 1986, NATO proposed to establish a new negotiating stage that would be supreme to the MBFR and discuss new Europe-wide reductions.
The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) meeting in Vienna (1986-1989) endorsed a regulation for negotiations on the level of conventional armed forces in Europe within the framework of the CSCE among the 23 participating States belonging to NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (WTO). On 10 January 1989, NATO and the Warsaw Pact initialed a mandate on negotiations on conventional forces in Europe (CFE).
On 2 February 1989, the MBFR talks were formally concluded, and on 9 March 1989, the CFE negotiations took place. On 19 November 1990, the CFE Treaty was signed in Paris, France. The main aim of the Treaty was to reduce the possibility of a surprise armed attack and the triggering of major offensive operations in Europe.
On 15 May 1992, the States Parties signed the Tashkent Agreement on the Principles and Procedures for the Implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which redistributed the former USSR’s equipment and strength targets among the signatories.
NATO has frozen the CFE : What does it means for the world?
The world is gradually edging towards a war that cannot be satiated by the people living in the world. First it was Russia and now NATO.
All the incidents are allowing super powers an easy access to use the Nuclear weaponries that could potentially make life difficult.
Wars on different fronts have put tremendous pressure on USA, UN and now NATO. Russia’s ratification was supposed to be reversed but now the doors are open through out.
Although Moscow cleared its intention of just levelling at par with the USA by ratifying out of the peace treaty but circumstances cannot be promised of. Russia-Ukraine war has been prolonging since almost 3 years now with no common ground achieved between both the nations.
What happens if Russia-Ukraine war doesn’t halt? Do the nuclear weaponries come in play or will both the countries avoid them?