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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 13, February - March 1997

NATO Expansion and Arms Control:
Statements and Remarks by US Secretary of State and Russian Foreign Minister

Press Conference with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moscow, 21 February 1997


Secretary Albright

"The NATO-Russia charter should not be a mechanical document. It needs to allow for the evolution of our work together and the emerging needs of European security in the coming century. NATO today is a new NATO. It is not the NATO of the Cold War, its guiding principles have changed and its structure has changed.

First, NATO no longer has an enemy to the East. Second, NATO's military system is fundamentally different. Its doctrine has changed and its forces have been reduced radically. NATO's nuclear weapons have been reduced by 90 percent. In 1989 NATO had a total of 6,000 combat aircraft in Europe and the US 2,900. Today, NATO has reduced its total holdings to 3,800 and the US now has no more than 900. In 1989 there were 17 US army brigades in Europe, in 1995 there were four.

The number of US forces has declined greatly. US forces in Europe in 1989 numbered 300,000. They are now down to 100,000. So, the point here is that NATO today is configured not to fight the Cold War, but to work with partners, with Russia to build a more stable and increasingly undivided Europe. ... "

Foreign Minister Primakov

"One of the irritants remaining between us is the issue of the expansion of NATO. We are still negatively disposed towards the expansion of NATO, however, we are doing everything we can conceivably think of in order to minimize any negative consequences that might arise in the event that NATO does expand.

Now the document or the charter, the agreement, whatever you wish to call it, that is signed between Russia and NATO, for our side, and in our view, must have a mandatory or binding nature upon the two sides, and as far as we know, as far as we gather, Madam Secretary of State shares this view.

We also have to say that we are interested in not having the NATO infrastructure move eastward in our direction. And even those reduced levels of armed forces in Europe, which my colleague so very beautifully and so colorfully has described as reduced levels, would be best even if those forces not move in our direction.

We are in favor of having NATO transform itself more in the direction of becoming a political organization and that its remaining functions be aimed primarily at peace- keeping functions. ..."


"Question: 'Mr. Primakov, did you hear anything from the American side that will make it easier for the Duma to act finally on the long-delayed START Treaty? Gore-Chernomyrdin discussed some guidelines for START-3, but are you getting any help to get that through the Duma?'

Foreign Minister Primakov: '...as far as the START-2 ratification by our Duma, what I have to say here is that we have a ways to go yet in trying to find a solution to the anti-ballistic missile component and try to come to closure on that. We have given corresponding instructions from both sides to our experts to sit down and work this out.'

Question: 'Yevgeny Maximovich, on what guarantees of its security will Russia insist in this charter, will the question of deployment of NATO nuclear weapons in East European countries be considered?'

Foreign Minister Primakov: 'Mrs. Albright confirmed the fact that there is no intention to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of the countries in Central and East Europe. We feel that that should be reflected in the document.'"


'Report to the Congress on the Enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization: Rationale, Benefits, Costs and Implications,' Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs, US State Department, 24 February 1997

Executive Summary

"The major conclusions of this report include:

* NATO enlargement contributes to the broader goal of a peaceful, undivided and democratic Europe. NATO enlargement is one part of a much broader, post-Cold War strategy to help create a peaceful, undivided and democratic Europe. That strategy has included many other elements: support for German unification; assistance to foster reforms in Russia, Ukraine and other new independent States; negotiation and adaptation of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty; and the evolution and strengthening of European security and economic institutions, including the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe and the Western European Union. ...

* NATO enlargement carries costs. Security is not free. The United States and its allies will, by enlargement, extend solemn security guarantees to additional nations, and NATO members must provide the capability to back them up. Enlargement will not, however, require a change in NATO's military doctrine, which has already shifted from positional defense against an identified enemy to a capacity for flexible deployment to areas of need. Because the United States already has the world's pre-eminent deployment capability, and substantial forces forward deployed in Europe, there will be no need for additional US forces. Current European NATO members are already investing in improved capabilities to operate beyond their border, and Central European States, including likely new members, are likewise investing in modernizing and restructuring their forces. These efforts have already begun and would continue whether or not NATO adds members.

* Costs to the United States will be modest. The Department of Defense has estimated both the direct enlargement costs (e.g., for interoperability between the forces of current and new members and for extending NATO's integrated command, communications and air defense surveillance systems) and the costs of force improvements already being pursued by existing and new members which will also contribute to carrying out NATO's missions in an enlarged alliance. The direct enlargement costs are estimated to average $700-900 million annually, for a total of around $9-12 billion between 1997 and 2009, the date by which new NATO members are anticipated to have reached a 'mature capability'... The US share of these costs, chiefly for our share of the NATO budgets for direct enlargement costs, would largely be incurred in the ten years following formal accession in 1999, and would average about $150-200 million annually during that period. The estimated costs for new members associated with restructuring their forces are estimated to be about $800 million-$1 billion annually, while those for improvements of our Allies' regional reinforcement capabilities are estimated at $600-800 million annually - respectively $10-13 billion and $8-10 billion over 1997-2009. ...

* The United States and NATO are committed to constructive relations with Russia. ... Parallel to NATO enlargement, the United States and NATO have proposed a series of initiatives, including a NATO-Russia Charter and a permanent consultative mechanism, in order to ensure that Russia plays an active part in efforts to build a new Europe even as NATO enlargement proceeds.

In summary, the addition of new members to NATO will strengthen the Alliance, contribute to a stronger and more peaceful Europe and benefit American security interests. It is one of the President's highest priorities for American foreign policy."

Rationale and Process for NATO Enlargement

"The United States and its NATO allies have pursued a number of initiatives since the end of the Cold War in an effort to advance this strategy. These include: ...

* Negotiation and implementation of the 1990 Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE), which has led to the elimination of over 50,000 pieces of military equipment. Negotiations to update the CFE Treaty represent a further step.

* Negotiation and ratification of the START II strategic arms control treaty, which when implemented, will achieve two-thirds reductions in American and Russian nuclear arsenals.

* The elimination of INF missiles and a 90 percent overall reduction in NATO's nuclear weapons in Europe, including the unilateral renunciation of short range nuclear missiles and nuclear artillery shells and the mutual detargeting of US and Russian strategic nuclear missiles.

* Programs to help dismantle nuclear stockpiles and secure nuclear materials in Russia and the newly-independent States. ..."

Enlargement's Implications for NATO Strategy and Forces

"NATO has agreed, and has informed Russia, that while new members will be expected to support the concept of deterrence and the essential role nuclear weapons play in Alliance strategy, enlarging the Alliance will not require a change in NATO's current nuclear posture. For this reason, the Alliance has stated that it has no intention, no plan and no reason to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new members; nor does it foresee any future need to do so. Therefore, DoD does not expect enlargement to produce any additional costs associated with nuclear forces. ..."

Impact of Enlargement on Russian Policy and Relations with Russia

"The United States and its allies... have undertaken a variety of measures in recent years to create a coherent and constructive relationship with Russia. As part of this effort, the United States has supported Russia's democratic and market reforms, and has promoted its integration into international fora and institutions, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the G-7/Eight process. In parallel with NATO enlargement, the United States and the Alliance seek to create a permanent partnership with Russia, as an essential and complementary element of new European security structures.

This is a challenge; we recognize that Russia will not endorse NATO enlargement. Thus far, Moscow has pursued a two-track policy. On the one hand, the Russian government and political elite continue to voice opposition to enlargement. On the other hand, President Yeltsin, Foreign Minister Primakov and other senior Russian officials are now engaging in an intensive dialogue with the US, other key allies and NATO about the enlargement process and prospects for developing the NATO-Russia relationship. ...

Statements of opposition to NATO enlargement have ranged from concern about the threat to Russia's security and Russia's place in Europe to suggestions that enlargement would harm reform or lead to internal political instability in Russia. Some have suggested that if NATO enlarges, Russia should respond by taking steps such as increasing defense spending, refusing to ratify START II and abrogating the CFE and INF treaties, pursuing reunification with Belarus, building a counter-alliance to oppose NATO and redeploying Russian forces and tactical nuclear weapons to areas along the border with Poland, particularly if NATO stationed nuclear weapons or multinational forces on the territory of new members. While the Russian government has not in fact decided on any of these measures, these statements convey the sense of concern among many of Russia's elite. ..."

Impact of NATO Enlargement on Other Institutions and Treaties

"The 1990 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe is a cornerstone of Europe's new security. Under the Treaty, more than 50,000 pieces of conventional military equipment have been destroyed and conventional force levels are at their lowest in decades. CFE caps equipment holdings of the major conventional armies in Europe, thus ensuring predictability about those force levels for the future. CFE limits help prevent destabilizing concentrations of forces in any one region of its area of application, from the Atlantic to the Urals. It seeks to ensure military stability throughout the CFE area - for those States that are members of an alliance as well as those that are not.

At the December 1996 OSCE summit in Lisbon, CFE Parties agreed to begin adapting the Treaty to the new geopolitical landscape. They approved a 'scope and parameters' document to guide the process of adaptation, which began in January of this year.

From a legal point of view, NATO enlargement does not require any change to the Treaty. Even though the Treaty is constructed between two groups of State Parties (current NATO allies and the countries of the former Warsaw Pact), these States are named individually in the Treaty and its associated documents. However, the Treaty was constructed to create an equal balance of forces between the two groups.

The end of the Cold War has created a new security environment. One of the groups that was party to the Treaty no longer exists; the other plans to accept new members. In light of these developments, NATO members have reviewed what changes to the Treaty are warranted to preserve the benefits of CFE and ensure security and stability at lower levels of forces in a changed security environment. On 20 February, NATO countries put forward at the Vienna negotiations a proposal on adapting the CFE Treaty to the changes in Europe. The NATO initiative calls for replacing the Treaty's outdated bloc-to-bloc approach with new national limits on equipment. A key element of the proposal calls for lower equipment levels throughout the CFE area, and contains a specific commitment by the sixteen members of the alliance that the total of their ground equipment entitlements under an adapted Treaty will be 'significantly less' than NATO is allowed under the current Treaty. Another key element of the proposal would prevent an increase in ground equipment levels in a key area of central Europe. The May 1996 Flank Agreement will be retained. Successful adaptation of the CFE Treaty will result in increased stability and security for all the States of Europe, including those not currently party to the Treaty, such as the Baltic States."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

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