UK, Allies Suspend Participation in Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty After Russia’s Withdrawal
12:15 07.11.2023 (Updated: 13:08 07.11.2023)
© Rob PinneyRoyal Navy personnel march past the Cenotaph ahead of the coronation ceremony for Britain's King Charles III in London, Saturday, May 6, 2023.
© Rob Pinney
Earlier, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that at midnight on November 7, Moscow completed the procedure of withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), signed in 1990 in the French capital of Paris by plenipotentiary representatives of 16 NATO member states and six Warsaw Pact (WAP) member states.
The United Kingdom and its allies have decided to suspend participation in the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) following Russia's withdrawal, the UK Foreign Office said on Tuesday.
"In response to Russia’s move, the UK, alongside its Allies has decided to suspend its participation in the Treaty and to work with likeminded nations to develop and implement voluntary stabilising measures," the office said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has expressed its support for the allies' decision to suspend participation in the CFE Treaty following Russia's withdrawal.
"Allied States Parties intend to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty for as long as necessary, in accordance with their rights under international law. This is a decision fully supported by all NATO Allies," the military bloc said.
The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed in Paris, France, on November 19, 1990, by representatives of 16 NATO member states and six Warsaw Pact (WAP) member states, including Russia, and entered into force on November 9, 1992. Neutral and non-aligned participants in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE, since 1995 OSCE) did not participate, and the treaty itself was closed. States that were not then members of NATO and the OSCE were not expected to accede to it.
The CFE Treaty established group and individual ceilings for NATO and Warsaw Pact countries for five types of armaments and military equipment (AME) limited by the Treaty - battle tanks, armored combat vehicles (ACVs), artillery, attack aircraft and attack helicopters. Such levels were established not only for the two groups of states as a whole, but also for the so-called flank areas - the south and the north - in order to address the concerns of the "flank" or border states, primarily Turkey in the south and Norway in the north.
In 1992, the provisions of the Treaty were supplemented by obligations of its Parties to limit the number of personnel of their conventional armed forces in the zone of application of the Treaty (this zone included only part - European - of the territory of the former USSR and present-day Russia, and only part of the territory of Turkey).