America offers arms concession to Moscow
Deal allows flexibility in the Caucasus
Saturday 01 June 1996
But other signatories to the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty have yet to agree. Negotiations to end the impasse on amendments to the treaty, and especially the critical issue of the flanks, continued until early yesterday morning in Vienna.
The CFE Treaty, which has led to the destruction of 50,000 major weapons systems - tanks, artillery, armoured fighting vehicles, combat aircraft and helicopters - was signed between Nato and the Warsaw Pact. Soon afterwards the latter disintegrated, and so did the Soviet Union. The treaty has led to unprecedented "openness" between the participating states, which regularly send inspection teams to verify compliance.
The new agreement is a concession to the Russians to allow them to deploy extra forces to the troubled Caucasus region. Intensive arms control inspections have been under way to check that all the signatories have reduced their armaments. The new agreement gives Russia an extra three years to meet the limits.
The agreement removes the area of Pskov, in the north, and Volgograd, Krasnodar and Rostov in the south, from the "flanks", thus permitting Russia greater flexibility.
Russia has long maintained that the regional ceilings on the five categories of Treaty Limited Equipment (TLE) no longer reflected the changed strategic situation, particularly in the south. The equipment originally allocated to the Soviet Union's south-western flank was split up between Russia and the new states of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. But then Russia had to move more equipment in to counter the threat from Chechen rebels, putting it in violation of the treaty. The Western signatories treated Russia sympathetically, awaiting the outcome of last month's review.
Russia's deputy Foreign Minister, Georgiy Mamedov, said yesterday that "Russia and the US have made an agreement. We hope to persuade our friends and partners to follow suit. It's about new ceilings for new independent countries to come from the Soviet Union. It is a new reality".
Mr Mamedov said he hoped Norway and Turkey, who had opposed the new ceilings, would now go along with the agreement.
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: CHESHIRE MARKET TOWN - An exciting and rare o...
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...