The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation notes that NATO Member States, contrary to their commitments, have chosen to rely on the expansion to the East and the intensification of their activities in the post-Soviet space, replacing the concept of universal, equal and indivisible security with the principle of building security for themselves at the expense of other States.
Statement of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation notes that the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on 4 April 1949 was one of the key moments of the early Cold War in which this organization was the main military-political structure created by Western States to confront the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact.
After the signing of the Protocol on the Termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance of 14 May 1955 (the Warsaw Pact) in Prague on 1 July 1991, which was seen in our country as a voluntary renunciation of confrontation with NATO and the West as a whole given that the period of confrontation was over, not only did NATO remain as a military bloc, but it also expanded its membership by including certain Central and Eastern European countries therein, which ran counter to the promises made by Western leaders to the USSR.
At the end of the Cold War, the common intention of NATO Member States and countries that formerly belonged to the Warsaw Pact to build brand new relations and security architecture in the Euro-Atlantic region was enshrined in a number of international documents. Thus, the Charter of Paris for a New Europe signed in Paris on 21 November 1990 asserts that security is indivisible and the security of every State is inseparably linked to that of all the others.
In the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation signed in Paris on 27 May 1997, the Parties, proceeding from the principle that the security of all States in the Euro‑Atlantic community is indivisible, agreed to work together to contribute to the establishment of common and comprehensive security in Europe.
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation notes that NATO Member States, contrary to their commitments, have chosen to rely on the expansion to the East and the intensification of their activities in the post-Soviet space, replacing the concept of universal, equal and indivisible security with the principle of building security for themselves at the expense of other States. It was NATO’s rejection of previously agreed approaches to creating a common security space in the Euro-Atlantic region that resulted in acute conflicts in the region and the current deep crisis in relations between the Russian Federation and NATO.
The meeting of the North Atlantic Council held in Washington, DC on April 3 and 4, 2019 proved that confrontation with Russia is a key factor for maintaining NATO’s unity and the Alliance’s future existence as such. As a remnant of the Cold War, NATO demonstrates its inability to provide adequate responses to real challenges of our time and justifies its existence in its current form by the need to ensure protection from the mythical threat from the East. Every stage of NATO’s enlargement inevitably creates new lines of division in Europe and threatens European and global security, as well as the well-being of all citizens of the Euro-Atlantic region.
The myth that NATO is a defensive alliance was completely unveiled when it started its military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 24 March 1999. The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation in its statement regarding NATO’s aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia of 31 March 1999 No. 143-SF characterized this military operation as an act of aggression against a sovereign State.
Subsequent military operations in Afghanistan and Libya, in which many NATO Member States actively participated, failed to help settle domestic conflicts and resolve the problems of these countries but instead led to chaos and heavy civilian casualties. NATO is trying to substitute the world which relies on universal norms of international law agreed by consensus with a certain ”rule‑based order“, which results in endless crises and conflicts in various parts of the planet.
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation is deeply concerned about the fact that NATO, on the basis of far-fetched and unsubstantiated accusations by the United States against the Russian Federation and with the blind support of other NATO Member States, is heading towards challenging the entire treaty basis of strategic stability and global security that was built over decades of negotiations amid the difficult conditions of the Cold War.
The intention of the United States to unilaterally withdraw from the Treaty Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles of 8 December 1987 plunges Europe back into an era of the toughest confrontation of the Cold War period. The U.S. accusations against Russia of the alleged violations of its Treaty obligations and the U.S. and NATO total refusal to negotiate this issue look like an attempt to shift the responsibility for the destruction of the mechanism of control over an entire class of weapons and to confuse the innocent with the guilty.
The growing uncertainty regarding the fate of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms of 8 April 2010 is also alarming.
The failure of NATO Member States, under pressure from the United States, to ratify the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1999 also caused irreparable damage to military security in Europe and control of conventional arms and armed forces.
Having increased its activity in the previously calm Baltic region, NATO is now building up its military presence in the Black Sea region. NATO’s support for Georgia during the tragic events in August 2008 and now for Ukraine, in particular on November 25, 2018 when Ukrainian naval ships illegally crossed the State border of the Russian Federation in the Kerch Strait area, encourages the leaders of these two countries, certain of their impunity, to stage new provocations. The passage of Ukrainian ships through Kerch Strait is not a question of the balance of force or of NATO’s presence in the Black Sea region; this is just a matter of Ukraine’s compliance with the established procedures which it knows far too well and had successfully implemented before November 2018. Ukraine’s attempts to bypass these procedures are fraught with the risk of a military conflict between Ukraine and Russia in which NATO might also be involved.
NATO Member States continue to increase their defence spending: in 2018 it amounted to more than half of the world’s total – about one trillion U.S. dollars, which is more than 20 times the defense budget of the Russian Federation. The number and the scope of NATO exercises are growing in order to provide practice in skills required to carry out offensive operations in all spheres, including information space.
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation believes that a dialogue between the defense officials and politicians of Russia and NATO could play a positive role in this exacerbated situation. Regrettably, the previously existing formats and channels of communication have been unilaterally suspended at NATO’s initiative. Cooperation in a number of areas of security for the benefit of all Euro-Atlantic States has been terminated completely. The destructive policy of ultimatums and sanctions used by NATO Member States is a road to nowhere. Their assurances of being interested in de-escalation and prevention of dangerous military incidents are not supported by real actions aimed at restoring normal working contacts on military issues with the Russian Federation.
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation believes that Russia and NATO have plenty of important issues to discuss and that a significant number of common threats require a joint response. However, constructive relations between Russia and NATO, including on the parliamentary level, can be built only through mutual respect and consideration of each other’s lawful interests with no dictates or ultimatums.
The Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation