FLANK DOCUMENT AGREEMENT TO THE CFE TREATYSenate Consideration of Treaty Document 105-5
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[Senate Treaty Document 105-5] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] 105th Congress Treaty Doc. SENATE 1st Session 105-5 _______________________________________________________________________ FLANK DOCUMENT AGREEMENT TO THE CFE TREATY __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES transmitting THE DOCUMENT AGREED AMONG THE STATES PARTIES TO THE TREATY ON CONVENTIONAL ARMED FORCES IN EUROPE (CFE) OF NOVEMBER 19, 1990, ADOPTED AT VIENNA ON MAY 31, 1996 (``THE FLANK DOCUMENT''). THE FLANK DOCUMENT IS ANNEX A OF THE FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE FIRST CFE REVIEW CONFERENCE April 7, 1997.--Agreement was read the first time and, together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, April 7, 1997. To the Senate of the United States: I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the Senate, the Document Agreed Among the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) of November 19, 1990, which was adopted at Vienna on May 31, 1996 (``the Flank Document''). The Flank Document is Annex A of the Final Document of the first CFE Review Conference. I transmit also, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State on the Flank Document, together with a section-by-section analysis of the Flank Document and three documents associated with it that are relevant to the Senate's consideration: the Understanding on Details of the Flank Document of 31 May 1996 in Order to Facilitate its Implementation; the Exchange of Letters between the U.S. Chief Delegate to the CFE Joint Consultative Group and the Head of the Delegation of the Russian Federation to the Joint Consultative Group, dated 25 July 1996; and, the Extension of Provisional Application of the Document until May 15, 1997. I take this step as a matter of accommodation to the desires of the Senate and without prejudice to the allocation of rights and duties under the Constitution. In transmitting the original CFE Treaty to the Senate in 1991, President Bush said that the CFE Treaty was ``the most ambitious arms control agreement ever concluded.'' This landmark treaty has been a source of stability, predictability, and confidence during a period of historic change in Europe. In the years since the CFE Treaty was signed, the Soviet Union has dissolved, the Warsaw Pact has disappeared, and the North Atlantic Alliance has been transformed. The Treaty has not been unaffected by these changes--for example, there are 30 CFE States Parties now, not 22--but the dedication of all Treaty partners to achieving its full promise is undiminished. The CFE Treaty has resulted in the verified reduction of more than 50,000 pieces of heavy military equipment, including tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery pieces, combat aircraft, and attack helicopters. By the end of 1996, CFE states had accepted and conducted more than 2,700 intrusive, on-site inspections. Contacts between the military organizations charged with implementing CFE are cooperative and extensive. The CFE Treaty has helped to transform a world of two armed camps into a Europe where dividing lines no longer hold. The Flank document is part of that process. It is the culmination of over 2 years of negotiations and months of intensive discussions with the Russian Federation, Ukraine, our NATO Allies, and our other CFE Treaty partners. The Flank Document resolves in a cooperative way the most difficult problem that arose during the Treaty's first 5 years of implementation: Russian and Ukrainian concerns about the impact of the Treaty's equipment limits in the flank zone on their security and military flexibility. The other Treaty states-- including NATO Allies--agreed that some of those concerns were reasonable and ought to be addressed. The Flank Document is the result of a painstaking multilateral diplomatic effort that had as its main goal the preservation of the integrity of the CFE Treaty and achievement of the goals of its mandate. It is a crucial step in adaptation of the CFE Treaty to the dramatic political changes that have occurred in Europe since the Treaty was signed. The Flank Document confirms the importance of subregional constraints on heavy military equipment. More specifically, it revalidates the idea, unique to CFE, of limits on the amount of equipment particular nations in the Treaty area can locate on certain portions of their own national territory. Timely entry into force of the Flank document will ensure that these key principles are not a matter of debate in the negotiations we have just begun in Vienna to adapt the CFE treaty to new political realities, including the prospect of an enlarged NATO. I believe that entry into force of the CFE Flank Document is in the best interests of the United States and will contribute to our broader efforts to establish a new European security order based on cooperation and shared goals. By maintaining the integrity of the CFE flank regime, we take a key step toward our goal of ensuring that the CFE Treaty continues to play a key role in enhancing military stability into the 21st century. Therefore, I urge the Senate to give early and favorable consideration to the Flank document and to give advice and consent prior to May 15, 1997. William J. Clinton. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, April 3, 1997. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a view to transmission to the Senate for its advice and consent, the Document Agreed Among the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of November 19, 1990, adopted at Vienna on May 31, 1996 (``the Flank Document''). The Flank Document, which is Annex A of the Final Document of the First Conference to Review the Operation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and The Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength, was adopted at Vienna on May 31, 1996 by the United States of America and the Republic Armenia, the Azerbaijan Republic, the Republic of Belarus, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, the Kingdom of Denmark, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Georgia, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Iceland, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Kazakstan, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Republic of Moldova, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Portuguese Republic, Romania, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the Republic of Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (the ``States Parties''). Also enclosed for the information of the Senate, are the following three documents associated with the Flank Document: the Understanding on Details of the Flank Document of 31 May 1996 in Order to Facilitate its Implementation; the Exchange of Letters between the United States Chief Delegate to the CFE Joint Consultative Group and the Head of Delegation of the Russian Federation to the Joint Consultative Group, dated 25 July 1996; and, the Extension of Provisional Application of the Document until May 15, 1997. Although not submitted for the advice and consent of the Senate, these three documents are relevant to consideration of the Flank Document by the Senate. introduction On May 31, 1996, the 30 States Parties to the CFE Treaty concluded the Document Agreed Among the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of November 19, 1990, a legally binding agreement, to resolve the CFE flank issue. The Flank Document was annexed to the Final Document issued at the conclusion of the two-week CFE Treaty Review Conference in Vienna. The Review Conference addressed a variety of important issues,including implementation of the Treaty and future adaptation of the Treaty to respond to Europe's changing political environment. This agreement on the flank issue was the culmination of months of intensive discussions and negotiations with the Russian Federation, NATO Allies and other CFE Treaty partners. It is an important step in ensuring the Treaty's continued viability and integrity. The CFE Treaty imposes limits on the number of certain kinds of treaty-limited equipment (TLE) each of two groups of states (corresponding to the membership of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact) may have in the Treaty's ``area of application.'' Article V of the Treaty imposes further limits on the amount of TLE that may be deployed within the portion of the area of application commonly known as the flank zone. From early 1993, Russia argued that the CFE Treaty, which had been negotiated between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, did not adequately reflect Russia's security needs in the post-Cold War world. Specifically, Russia claimed that the regional equipment limits in the Treaty's flank zone were too restrictive to permit it to deploy forces to that area adequate to meet its security concerns for the region, which includes the North Caucasus. Ukraine also claimed that the Treaty's flank limits were unduly restrictive and would cause it to incur unreasonable implementation costs. NATO Allies did not accept all of Russia's claims concerning its security problems in the flank zone or the amount of equipment Moscow said it needed there. The Alliance did recognize, however, that the significant changes to political borders in the flank region since the Treaty's signature in 1990, prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, and Russia's low armored combat vehicle (ACV) limit in the flank zone, raised legitimate questions that needed to be addressed. For over two years, CFE states worked to find a way acceptable to all Parties to address these concerns about the flank limits. The resulting Flank Document is based on an approach that was endorsed by all 30 CFE States Parties in November 1995 at the Joint Consultative Group (JCG) in Vienna, which in turn was based on a September 1995 NATO proposal. key elements of the flank document The Flank Document has three basic elements: (1) removal of certain territory from the original flank zone, which reduces the size of the flank zone (the ``map realignment''); (2) additional constraints on equipment in the areas removed from the flank zone through the realignment; and (3) additional transparency measures for the flank zone and those areas removed from the flank zone. Under the Flank Document, Russia must lower its force levels in the region so that its equipment holdings in the old and new flank zone meet all CFE obligations by 31 May 1999. The territorial realignment contained in Section III, paragraph 1 of the Flank Document removes certain areas in Russia and Ukraine from the flank zone. Once the Flank Document enters into force, these areas will be considered to be part of a different CFE zone and, in addition to the constraints and enhanced transparency measures outlined above, will be subject to the limitations on equipment for that zone, rather than the more restrictive limits of the flank zone. With regard to Russia, the Flank Document does not permit any increase in overall holdings of treaty-limited equipment (TLE) in the total area of application of the Treaty, nor does it change the equipment limits for the flank zone as specified in the CFE Treaty. However, after the Flank Document enters into force, the Treaty's flank limits will apply to a smaller geographic area than previously, and Russia will have until 31 May 1999 to bring its deployments in the realigned flank zone into full compliance with the Treaty's flank limits. The Flank Document contains a commitment, provisionally applied even before entry into force as of 31 May 1996 through 31 May 1999, by which Russia agrees not to increase its total equipment holdings in the original flank above levels specified in the Flank Document, which were those present in the areas as reported in Russia's January 1, 1996 CFE data submission. Provisional application of the ``no-increase'' commitment until May 15, 1997 is based upon the understanding that Russia has not by virtue of the Flank Document been relieved of its existing CFE obligations, including its obligations with respect to its TLE holdings in the flank zone. In particular, this means that as a legal matter, the U.S. takes the view that Russia continues to exceed its maximum levels for holdings of TLE in the flank zone, notwithstanding the Document's provision that limits Russian flank deployments at January 1996 levels. Provisional application also benefits the U.S. and NATO Allies by making the enhanced transparency provisions of the Document effective immediately and by providing protection against any increase in Russian deployments in the flank zone prior to entry into force of the Flank Document. The map realignment has not been provisionally applied and will not become effective unless and until approved by all States Parties. In addition to the Treaty's limits on deployments in the realigned flank zone, the Document provides for sub-caps on Russian ACVs in specific regions removed from the flank, as an assurance against excessive concentrations of ACVs in any one area removed from the flank zone. The Document also contains provisions that will provide greater transparency to other CFE states, including additional inspections, and more frequent data submissions by Russia and Ukraine. entry into force The Flank Document will enter into force when all CFE States Parties have deposited confirmation of their approval of the Document with the Government of theKingdom of the Netherlands. If the Flank Document is not approved by all States Parties by May 15, 1997, it will be subject to ``review'' by all CFE States Parties. Conclusion Accompanying this Report is a Section-by-Section Analysis of the Document. The Flank Document will achieve a basic U.S. objective: to reaffirm the integrity and effectiveness of the CFE Treaty amidst Europe's dramatically changing circumstances. It resolves concerns that had been raised by Russia and Ukraine regarding the impact of the Treaty's flank zone equipment limits on their security, particularly in the Caucasus and Black Sea region, but in a manner other CFE parties can accept and that reinforces the importance and legitimacy of one of the Treaty's basic features: regional ceilings. It reaffirms Russia's commitment to the basic obligations of the Treaty at a time when there have been some voices in Russia and Ukraine arguing that the Treaty, negotiated when the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact still existed, was outdated in this respect. I believe that the Flank Document reflects an important step in preserving European security and will advance the overall interests of the United States. For this Document to enter into force, all 30 States Parties to it must notify the Depositary of their formal approval by May 15, 1997. I therefore recommend that the Document be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent at the earliest possible date prior to May 15, 1997. Respectfully submitted, Madeleine Albright. Enclosures: As stated.