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Moldova’s Foreign Policy Statewatch                                                                                       ...
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Policy statewatch18 en

  1. 1. Institute for Development andMOLDOVA’S FOREIGN POLICY STATEWATCH Social Initiatives “Viitorul” Issue 18, February 2011THE TRANSNISTRIAN DEMILITARIZATIONIN THE CONTEXT OF THE REMODELINGMILITARY-STRATEGIC BALANCE IN EUROPEEduard ȚuguiMoldova’s Foreign Policy Statewatch represents a series of brief NEXT TOPICSanalyses, written by local and foreign experts, dedicated to the TO BE COVERED:most topical subjects related to the foreign policy of Moldova,major developments in the Black Sea Region, cooperation with Opportunitiesinternational organizations and peace building activities in the region. of the Polish EUIt aims to create a common platform for discussion and to bringtogether experts, commentators, officials and diplomats who are Presidencyconcerned with the perspectives of European Integration of Moldova.It is also pertaining to offer to Moldova’s diplomats and analysts avaluable tribune for debating the most interesting and controversialpoints of view that could help Moldova to find its path to EU.T he new Russian-American Treaty for nuclear disarmament START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) III, entered into force on 5 February 2011, together with the change of its ratification instruments between the heads of delega- tions from the two countries. The Russian-American Agreement, signed on 8 April 2010 in Prague by B. Obama and D. Medvedev, modifies the parameters of international and continental security, as it aims a 30% reduction of nuclear- strategic arsenals and binds their nuclear offensive capabilities of AmericanMissile Shield, which is expected to be installed in Eastern Europe1. Signing and rati-fying of a document that provides strategic nuclear arms reduction caused talks andnegotiations about simultaneous reduction of the tactical nuclear arms and the controlof the conventional arms in Europe. These are processes with direct impact on the se-curity of the Republic of Moldova and therefore require an attitude, especially due tothe fact that on the provisions of a (potential) new Treaty on Conventional Armed For-ces in Europe (CFE) depends largely the demilitarization of the Transnistrian region.1 Договор между Российской Федерацией и Соединенными Штатами Америки о мерах по дальнейшему сокращению и ограничению стратегических наступательных вооружений. [On-Line]. 2010. (accessed 19.01.2011).
  2. 2. 2 Moldova’s Foreign Policy StatewatchPremises of the new Europeanmilitary-strategic balance International and continental geopolitical changes related to the erosion and subsequently collapseof the Soviet Union were accompanied by a series of agreements designed to ensure international andEuropean security. The signing of the INF treaty (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty) in December1987, treaty of the nuclear forces with intermediary range of action (500-5500 km) was followed by thesigning of the START Treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) I in July 1991, which limited nuclear strategicforces with long-range action – the intercontinental ballistic missiles. Between these two major Russian-American commitments on nuclear disarmament, was signed the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces inEurope (CFE) which was designed to complete nuclear disarmament with the strategic balance regulationin the field of conventional military capacities on the European continent. The signing of START III, on the background of an international loaded agenda at the beginningof the XXI century, along with the NATO summit decision from November 2010 on creating a joint missileshield in Europe and the proposals to Russia to participate in it, are premises for a new security architectureon the European continent and, consequently, reanimate negotiations on tactical nuclear armament andconventional arms. Thus, during the signing of the START III, the U.S. President said that he was interestedin continuing negotiations with Russia on reducing nuclear tactical weapons, provision which Republicansfrom Congress were willing to be included in the Treaty2. At the same time, this revitalized the consultationson signing a new treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe, which started immediately after the signingof START III.Conventional Forces in Europe:Limitations and uncertainties The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe was signed on 19 November 1990 in Parisby the sixteen NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact countries and entered into force on 2 November 1992.According to the treaty, on the targeted territory, from the Atlantic to the Ural, both groups of countries areallowed to have an equal number of military equipment, but the total number should not overcame fivecategories: tanks - 40 000, armored cars — 60,000; 100mm caliber artillery - 40 000; fighters — 13 600;attack helicopters — 4000. At the same time, the treaty provided for enhancing transparency and mutualtrust through exchanges of informations and developing mechanisms for inspections, and creating thespecial regime of flanks with reduced holdings of military equipment, where the forces of NATO and theWarsaw Pact were in close contact3. After the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the signatorystates have started the process of adaptation of the CFE Treaty to the new (geo)political and security realitieson the European continent by adoption of the Adapted Treaty on 19 November 1999 OSCE Summit fromIstanbul. The document amended the limitations of the previous system of military blocs and includesnational and territorial limits for all 30 signatory states4. Important for the Republic of Moldova is that theAdapted Treaty contains provisions on the need of host State agreement for the stationing of foreign troops,as important is its connection with the Final Act and Declaration of the OSCE Istanbul Summit5, documents2 The White House Office of The Press Secretary, April 8, 2010; The New START, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Report to the Senate, October 1, 2010.3 McCausland J. The CFE Treaty: A Cold War Anachronism? [On-Line]. 1995. p. 2-6. . (accessed 10.01.2011).4 Witkowsky A., Garnett Sh., McCausland J. Salvaging the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty Regime: Options for Wash-ington. // BROOKINGS Arms Control series, Paper 2, March 2010, p. 6-8.5 Fruntaşu Iu. Retragerea trupelor ruse din Moldova în contextul Tratatului FACE adaptat: percepţii, interese şi natura schimbătoare a securităţii europene. [On-Line]. 2005. (accessed 10.01.2011).Str. Iacob Hîncu 10/1, Chişinău MD-2005 Republic of Moldova 373 / 22 221844 phone 373 / 22 245714 fax
  3. 3. Moldova’s Foreign Policy Statewatch 3containing commitments to Russia ammunition and withdrawl of troops from Transnistria by the end of20026. Adapted Treaty was ratified by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, but the first has notwithdrawn troops and ammunition from Moldova and Georgia, also, not respecting the imposed limitsof military equipment in the North Caucasus. U.S. and the European partners have refused to ratify thetreaty, insisting on having the «package» approach of the Istanbul Summit, respectively, conditioning theratification with the withdrawl of Russian weapons and military contingent from Transnistria and Georgia. On12 December 2007, Russia established the Moratorium on the Treaty and submited new complaints fromEuropeans and Americans, including NATO expansion and the existence of “Baltic gap” through non-participation of the Baltic States in the Treaty, although the Baltics declared their intentions to join theCFE, and NATO expansion was not accompanied by a massive movement of troops and military equipment(provided in the treaty) to the east.Moldova and risks of decoupling The CFE Treaty provisions, especially the host country provision, and its connection with the FinalAct and Declaration of the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, represented maybe the only efficient tools that canforce Russia to honor its commitments towards the Republic of Moldova. Thus, Russia’s Moratorium of thesuspending participation at the CFE reduces greatly the perspectives for withdrawal of Russian troops andammunitions and respectively of settlement of the Transnistrian conflict. Republic of Moldova is obviously interested in activating of the CFE and along with it; Euro-Atlanticworld is interested for a stable and secure Europe, governed by treaties that are respected by all signatorystates. U.S., for example, appointed in February 2010 a special officer to the Conventional Armed Forces inEurope with the mission to start consultations with European allies and Russia on the future of the CFE, andin September, H. Clinton have been calling NATO members and Russia to intensify negotiations on Treaty7.At the same time, Russia is not less concerned with balance / parity of the conventional arms in Europe,since NATO’s potential in terms of technical / conventional military capability is far superior in comparisonwith Russia, while its military expenditures are difficult to compare with euroatlantic Members8. Paradoxically, but the risks of Moldova are related namely to the “unanimous” desire of the CFEactivation or rather the possibility of signing a new treaty on conventional forces in Europe, that would bedisconnected from the Final Act and the OSCE Summit Declaration from Istanbul in 1999. Russia is notwilling to return to Istanbul package and calls for “purification” of the treaty by decoupling of the commitmentsof the demilitarization of Transnistria and/or remodeling of the overall European security system. Moreover,Russia claims that it has no military equipment in Moldova provided by the CFE and refers to paragraph 4of the Joint Declaration of D. Medvedev, V. Voronin, I. Smirnov, of March 18, 20099, through which, someinfluential Russian researchers say, that Russia has the host state agreement on stationing military troopsand amunistions in Transnistria10. Some European countries are becoming more flexible in this regard and it could happen that “inthe name of European security” to accept a part of Russia’s proposals. Also, the United States, interestedin advancing negotiations on certain issues related to the missile shield, Afghanistan and Iran’s nuclearprogram, could reduce the intransigence that has treated Russia’s Istanbul commitments. Reduction ofmissiles and tactical nuclear warheads (with short-range action) extends this probability. The experts6 ISTANBUL SUMMIT DECLARATION, OSCE, Istanbul Summit 1999, ISTANBUL DOCUMENT 1999, January 2000, PCOEW389, p. 50. [On-Line]. 2000. (accessed 15.01.2011).7 US calls for reviving conventional forces in Europe treaty. [On-Line]. 2010. (accessed 20.01.2011).8 Stockholm International Peace Researche Institute. Yearbook 2010 – Military Expenditure. [On-Line]. 2010. (accessed 20.01.2011).9 Совместное заявление, принятое по итогам переговоров Президента Российской Федерации Д.А.Медведева с Президентом Республики Молдова В.Н.Ворониным и главой Приднестровья И.Н.Смирновым, Барвиха, 18 марта 2009 года. [On-Line]. 2010. (accessed 20.01.2011).10 Арбатов A., Ознобищев С. Сокращение обычных вооруженных сил в Европе: на пороге нового этапа? [On-Line]. 2010. (accessed 20.01.2011). Str. Iacob Hîncu 10/1, Chişinău MD-2005 Republic of Moldova 373 / 22 221844 phone 373 / 22 245714 fax
  4. 4. 4 Moldova’s Foreign Policy Statewatchcommunity and American administration wants a treaty to address this type of weapons, since Russia hasabout 2 200 tactical nuclear warheads and the U.S. only 500, of which 200 located in Europe (Germany,Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and Turkey)11. However, several European countries led by Germany, calls USto pull out this type of weapon from the continent, while the U.S. can not allow a withdrawal of these nuclearwarheads in the absence of a treaty with Russia, which contains similar obligations to the last. Russia, inturn, is vulnerable to conventional military capabilities, and sees in its own tactical nuclear warheads theonly counter-argument to conventional weapons of NATO in Europe. As a result, U.S. willingness to startnegotiations with Russia on reducing tactical nuclear weapons, increases probability that Washington mightmake some concessions to Russia on Conventional Forces in Europe.Conclusions Profound transformations in the global contemporary economy and (geo)politics are accompaniedby the remodeling of the international security system, and the European continent is “the calculationzone” for re-assessing of the capabilities of the world’s powers. Geographical position and interconnectionof the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (whose fulfillment depends on the withdrawal of Russianmunitions and troops from Transnistria) with other projects and military-strategic treaties, includes Moldovain a complicated negotiation process, which requires taking attitude. Republic of Moldova should make sure, including through bilateral and collective agreements withNATO member states, that any treaties signed with Russia in military-strategic terms, are not “canceling” itscommitments to withdraw troops and munitions from Transnistria, and a new treaty on Conventional Forcesin Europe, if it will be signed, should maintain the contact with the Final Act and Declaration from Istanbul. However, the Moldovan diplomacy should correct “the electoral error” of the ex-President V. Voronin,ensuring NATO partners and reminding Russia that “The host State agreement” in the Republic of Moldovameans signing of a classical interstate treaty which contains terms of the stationary, subsequently ratifiedin the Parliament, and not obscure declarations signed in electoral campaigns. Moreover, this unfortunatestatement from Barviha stipulates (at the 4th point) standing (only) of the Russian peacekeepers until theresolution of the conflict and does not refer to all soldiers and munitions from Transnistria. About the peacekeepers, Republic of Moldova must formally request from European Union andRussia, the replacement of the Russian troops from Transnistria with a civilian mission of the Europeanmonitoring from Common Security and Defence Policy, such as were recommended in different conflictregions of the world, from Macedonia to D. R. Congo and Indonesia. Otherwise, the OSCE does not havesuch mechanisms, the result of the mandate of UN peacekeepers in Kosovo may not be relevant frommany points of view, and two decades of confrontation have shown that Moldova will never be unified as ithas in the East, without her will, Russian troops.11 Арбатов A. (ред.). Ядерное распространение: новые технологии, вооружения и договоры. Москва: Российская политическая энциклопедия, 2009, p. 133-155.This publication was produced by IDIS “Viitorul” with the financial support of Soros FoundationMoldova and the National Endowment for Democracy. The opinions expressed in this publicati-on reflect the author’s/authors’ position and don’t necessary represent the views of the donors.Str. Iacob Hîncu 10/1, Chişinău MD-2005 Republic of Moldova 373 / 22 221844 phone 373 / 22 245714 fax www.viitorul.orgStr. Iacob Hîncu 10/1, Chişinău MD-2005 Republic of Moldova 373 / 22 221844 phone 373 / 22 245714 fax