The United States has decided to disengage itself from certain obligations on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). In particular, the USA will no longer inform Russia about the plans connected with the redeployment of its forces. Those restrictions are not touching upon any other country.
"Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty's implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia's decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.
According to her, the USA does not refuse from the dialogue with Russia within the scope of the Treaty. However, Russia must get back to the institution of the CFE, the US diplomat added.
Nuland also said that the United States did not intend to tie the CFE with the missile defense talks.
The remarks from the US diplomat look like another attempt to turn everything up side down again. It is worth mentioning here that the first edition of the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange.
A renewed variant of the treaty was signed in 1999. The new edition reflected such changes in Europe as the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the expansion of NATO. However, only Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan ratified the new treaty. Russia moved a big part of its arms behind the Ural mountains, but the Western countries did not even want to execute it. The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance continued, and NATO neared Russian borders.
At the end of 2007, Vladimir Putin decided to suspend Russia's participation in the CFE until the USA and its European allies ratified the renewed variant of the treaty. The Americans did not want to make any moves in that direction. Now they have decided not to inform Russia about the redeployment of its forces. This is obviously another violation of the treaty which the United States committed.
What consequences may Russia face as a result of the US decision? Pravda.Ru asked expert opinion from the director of the Center for Military Forecasts, Anatoly Tsyganok.
"The USA will stop informing Russia about military redeployments. The Americans can technically send their troops to Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, which did not sign the treaty. Will the Baltic states turn into an uncontrollable military center near Russia's borders?"
"When Russia suspended its participation in the CFE Treaty, she had the right to say that some NATO's newcomers, such as the Baltic states and Slovenia, had never signed the treaty. Now NATO eyes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and all other former members of the Warsaw Pact.
"When they were deciding on the unification of Germany in 1990, Germany and France said in the appendix to the adequate agreement that NATO would not move beyond the Oder River (the river separates Germany and Poland - ed.). However, the West does not take this appendix into consideration. They only follow the agreement itself, which does not say a word about the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance. It just so happens that the USA and its allies played a trick on Russia.
"Why did it take the United States four years to decide not to inform Russia about military redeployments?"
"Apparently, it is connected with the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. One may assume that NATO will create a military group near Russia's southern borders to strike Syria. They will most likely raise this issue at the NATO summit in December. They will try to analyze Syria's actions in case NATO conducts a military operation against the country, like it already happened in Libya."
"Is Russia a big obstacle for conducting NATO's operation against Syria? Does the USA have anything to conceal from us at this point?"
"Russia is an obstacle, yes. We have a naval base in Syria's Tartus. The base is protected with air defense complexes, so the chances for aggression from NATO or Israel from the sea are slim. If they decide to attack, it will most likely happen from the side of Saudi Arabia. So the USA has something to conceal.
"There is another aspect to this. There are approximately 120,000 Russian citizens living in Syria. Presumably, it goes about Russian women, who married local men. Russia can use this detail to interfere into the events in Syria. In addition, 20 percent of the Russian defense complex will simply tip off the perch in case Russia loses the Syrian market. It is not ruled out that they are regrouping NATO forces to get ready for the war against Syria, and they don't want to notify Russia of that."
The Russian forces destroyed a column of NATO armoured vehicles that had been delivered to the Ukrainian army.