Text Only | Disarmament Diplomacy | Disarmament Documentation | ACRONYM Reports
Back to the Acronym home page
British Policy
South Asia
About Acronym

Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 21, December 1997

NATO Ministerials

Meetings of Alliance Foreign & Defence Ministers, December 1997

North Atlantic Council (NAC)

Foreign Ministers Session

Final Communiqué, Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Foreign Ministers Session held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, NATO Press Release M-NAC-D-2(97)155, 16 December

Final Communiqué: Extracts

NATO Expansion

"1. Our Heads of State and Government, at their Summit in Madrid on 8-9 July, took historic decisions to transform the Alliance. We welcome today the substantial progress made by the Alliance in putting into practice that far-reaching vision. In particular:

  • we will sign today Protocols of Accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to the North Atlantic Treaty...
  • we will cooperate closely with the three invited countries through the coming months, building on the successful accession talks this year, and we will work for the timely ratification of the Protocols of Accession;
  • we have completed the initial estimates of the resource implications for accession of the three invitees, and have confirmed that the costs will be manageable;
  • we look forward to continuing in January 1998 intensified dialogues with those nations that aspire to NATO membership or that otherwise wish to pursue a dialogue with NATO on membership questions...

4. We received a report by the Secretary General on the successful conclusion of the accession talks with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. We will sign later today the Protocols to the North Atlantic Treaty on their accession and look forward to timely ratification of the Protocols of Accession by our respective countries in order to allow the three invited States to accede to the North Atlantic Treaty in time for the Alliance's 50th anniversary in April 1999. We are convinced that the accession of the invitees will contribute to the security and effectiveness of the Alliance. We are pleased by the thorough and detailed preparations undertaken by the three nations for the accession talks. We welcome the confirmation by the invited countries of their willingness to assume the rights and obligations of NATO membership and to meet the associated political commitments. They have confirmed their intention to participate fully in NATO's military structure and collective defence planning and, for the purpose of taking part in the full range of Alliance missions, to commit the bulk of their armed forces to the Alliance. All three fully support the continued openness of the Alliance towards new members, in accordance with Article 10 of the Washington Treaty as further elaborated in Paragraph 8 of the Madrid Summit Declaration. ...

5. As reaffirmed by our Heads of State and Government at the Madrid Summit, admitting new members will entail resource implications for the Alliance. We took note of a report on the resource implications of the accession of the three invited States, with particular emphasis on common-funded budgets. It provides an initial assessment of those costs which would be eligible for common funding, amounting to the equivalent of about 1.5 billion US dollars over a period of 10 years, of which 1.3 billion US dollars would be for the NATO Security Investment Programme.

Overall, the analysis of the resource implications of the accession of the three new members has justified the confidence of our Heads of State and Government that, in the present and foreseeable security environment in Europe, Alliance costs associated with the accession of the three invitees will be manageable, and that the resources necessary to meet these costs will be provided. The analysis also concludes that the available and planned military forces and the capabilities of the current Allies and the three invitees are sufficient to ensure fully the collective defence of all members of the enlarged Alliance in the present and foreseeable security environment. We note with satisfaction that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland will also make valuable contributions to the Alliance's ability to perform the full range of its missions. The newly acceding countries will assume all rights and obligations of membership and are ready to shoulder the resulting burdens. They plan to increase significantly their defence spending and to contribute appropriately to the Alliance's common-funded budgets."

NATO-Russia Founding Act

"11. The signature in Paris last May of the NATO-Russia Founding Act marked the beginning of a fundamentally new relationship between NATO and Russia. We are pleased that consultations in the Permanent Joint Council, created by the Founding Act, are developing into practical cooperation, on the basis of the 1997 work programme which we adopted with Minister Primakov at the first PJC Ministerial meeting last September. Since then, NATO and Russia have made significant progress towards establishing the deeper relationship envisioned in the Founding Act. NATO and Russia have consulted together on many of the issues central to security in the Euro-Atlantic area, including the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and ongoing implementation of the Peace Accords, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and conduct of peacekeeping operations. We are encouraged by the progress made in the working groups on civil emergency planning, peacekeeping, and defence conversion. We welcome the commitment shown by Russia to the broad range of cooperative activities, including the development of an active Individual Partnership Programme in the context of PfP [Partnership for Peace] and the appointment of a Russian military representative at NATO Headquarters. This will open a new chapter in NATO-Russia defence-related and military-to-military cooperation.

We therefore look forward tomorrow to our second meeting with the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation in the framework of the Permanent Joint Council. At that meeting, we expect to adopt a substantive work programme for 1998 that will further deepen our cooperation and strengthen mutual trust. We look forward in particular to enhancing NATO's information efforts in Russia, and we expect to open a NATO Documentation Centre in Moscow, as foreseen in the Founding Act, by 31st January 1998. The timely establishment of military liaison missions at various levels, as foreseen in the Founding Act, will usefully support its objectives. We encourage Russia to play an active role in the EAPC [Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council] and the enhanced PfP.

The activities of the Permanent Joint Council will build upon the principles of reciprocity and transparency. In opening a new era in European security relations, we are fully committed to working together with Russia to realise the provisions and potential of the Founding Act."

Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty

"18. We share the commitment of all 30 States Parties to continued full implementation of the CFE Treaty, and its associated documents, including the Flank Agreement. We are determined that the adaptation of CFE will strengthen the Treaty's continued key role in the European security architecture and as a cornerstone of European stability and security. The agreement reached in July 1997 on the Basic Elements of CFE Treaty Adaptation was an important step in the adaptation process. We note with appreciation the substantial progress achieved by the Alliance's High Level Task Force in elaborating the Alliance position on the operation of the future Treaty's system of limitations, appropriate flexibilities and consultative mechanisms, with the aim of enhancing security and stability in Europe. Introduction of Allies' illustrative Territorial Ceilings, together with their underlying rationale, in the Vienna negotiation is a further indication of the importance we attach to progress on CFE adaptation and our determination to work cooperatively with other Treaty Partners. We will work as expeditiously as possible towards the conclusion of the adaptation negotiation as foreseen in the timetable agreed in Lisbon on 1 December 1996. We call on other CFE States Parties to engage actively in the negotiations, including by putting forward proposed equipment ceilings under the adapted Treaty, considering reductions in their entitlements as NATO Allies have already done. We hope that these common efforts will enhance the climate of cooperation and confidence."

Weapons-of-Mass Destruction (WMD) Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

"19. The proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) weapons and their means of delivery poses risks to the Alliance. The principal non-proliferation goal of the Alliance and its members is to prevent proliferation from occurring, or, should it occur, to reverse it through diplomatic means. We note the report of the Joint Committee on Proliferation regarding the activities of the Senior Political-Military Group on Proliferation and the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation.

The Alliance shares with its Partners many of the risks arising from the proliferation of NBC weapons. We will therefore pursue a dialogue on this issue in the framework of EAPC and with Russia and Ukraine, with the aim of enhancing our cooperation in countering these risks.

20. We note with satisfaction that implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention is proceeding well, and that the number of countries ratifying this important agreement continues to grow. We particularly welcome the CWC ratification by the Russian Federation in early November. We urge all States that have not yet signed and ratified the Convention to do so, and call upon those that have ratified to carry out fully their obligations under the Convention.

We continue to endorse efforts to negotiate an effective verification regime to strengthen the implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

We support early entry into force of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and an early start to negotiations on a Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty.

We continue to urge the Russian Federation to ratify the START II Treaty as soon as possible, so that negotiations on START III can begin. In this context, we welcome the agreements signed by Secretary Albright and Foreign Minister Primakov on 26 September 1997 to enhance the prospects for Russia's ratification of START II. We urge Russia to honour its commitments as stated by President Yeltsin in 1992 to substantially reduce its tactical nuclear weapons stockpile. ..."


"We welcome the signing in Ottawa on 3 and 4 December, 1997 of the Convention on the prohibition of the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines and on their destruction. The impact of this agreement on NATO will be fully assessed in the months ahead. We will take the necessary action to ensure that national obligations under the Convention are compatible with our obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty. We welcome the efforts pursued in the Conference on Disarmament and in other fora on the issue of anti-personnel mines and urge the Conference to intensify its efforts to achieve progress on the issue."

Defence Ministers Session

Final Communiqué, Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Defence Ministers Session held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, NATO Press Release M-NAC-D-2(97)149, 2 December

Final Communiqué: Extracts

Non-Proliferation and Counter-Proliferation

"26. ... We welcome progress achieved with international disarmament and non-proliferation instruments and attach utmost importance to their full implementation and rigorous verification. We nevertheless recognize that proliferation, which at present poses risks to the Alliance, can continue to occur despite our preventive efforts and can pose a direct military threat to Allies' populations, territory, and forces. We remain committed to continue improving the Alliance defence posture against NBC weapons to which the Senior Defence Group on Proliferation (DGP) is making an important contribution within the framework of its mandate.

27. The risks associated with proliferation are a key component of the changed security environment since 1991 and we will ensure they are fully reflected in our strategy and plans. We noted with concern recent and ongoing proliferation developments that underline the necessity of dealing with the evolving proliferation threat.

28. We welcome the progress being made by the NATO Military Authorities to implement the Alliance Policy Guidelines for Military Operations in an NBC Weapons Environment, which will facilitate the adaptation of NATO's operational doctrine, concepts, and plans and focus training and exercises on the risks posed by NBC weapons and their means of delivery. The DGP will undertake further consultations and cooperation with Partner nations to address defence efforts against the risks posed by NBC weapons and their means of delivery, and to examine probable areas for future cooperation.

29. We also note the DGP's ongoing effort to undertake a comprehensive analysis of progress the Alliance has made towards intensifying and expanding NATO's defence efforts against proliferation risks since the 1994 Brussels Summit and look forward to receiving a report at our Spring meeting."

Defence Planning Committee (DPC) & Nuclear Planning Group

Final Communiqué, Defence Ministerial Meeting of the Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group held at NATO Headquarters, Brussels, NATO Press Release M-DPC/NPG-2(97)150, 2 December

Final Communiqué: Extracts

"5. We have reviewed national defence plans for the period 1998-2002 and beyond and have adopted a five-year force plan which will ensure that our defence plans continue to match the requirements of the changing security situation. ... Alliance forces will continue to be adapted in order to respond better to the risks and potential threats associated with the proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their means of delivery. ...

6. We received with appreciation a presentation by the US Secretary of Defense on the prospects for ratification of the second Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II). In this context, we welcomed the agreements signed by Secretary Albright and Foreign Minister Primakov on 26 September to enhance the prospects for Russian ratification of START II. We expressed our hope that the Russian Federation will ratify START II promptly so that the benefits of that treaty may be attained and negotiations can begin soon on START III.

7. We also welcomed a second set of agreements signed on 26 September by the United States with the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine relating to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and theatre ballistic missile defences. Taken together, these agreements will ensure the continued viability of the ABM Treaty, which has been an important element of strategic stability for over 25 years. We fully support the goal that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty should enter into force as soon as possible and, to this end, encourage all States to sign and ratify the treaty without delay. We also continue to attach great importance to the early beginning of negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty.

8. We welcomed the initiation of reciprocal exchanges between Russian and US strategic force commanders and took note of the recent visit by the Commander-in-Chief of the US Strategic Command to Russian nuclear installations. We received a presentation on the status of Russian tactical nuclear forces. We look forward to consultations on nuclear weapons issues with Russia in the Permanent Joint Council. We reaffirmed our conviction that this dialogue will help to increase transparency and improve understanding of the role of nuclear weapons in the security strategies of NATO and the Russian Federation.

9. We confirmed that nuclear forces continue to play an essential role in NATO strategy and that their fundamental purpose is political: to preserve peace and prevent coercion and any kind of war. By ensuring uncertainty about the nature of the Allies' response to aggression, they demonstrate that aggression of any kind is not a rational option. The changes in NATO's nuclear policy and posture since the end of the Cold War are amongst the most radical in the Alliance's transformation. Since 1991, NATO has significantly reduced its nuclear stockpile and force posture in the light of the changed security environment. Alliance nuclear forces are not targeted at any country; and NATO has reduced the number and readiness of its dual capable aircraft."

© 1998 The Acronym Institute.

Return to top of page

Return to List of Contents

Return to Acronym Main Page