As enraged as the Russians are with NATO over the bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, they realize that it is in their long-term security interests to continue to cooperate with NATO in a number of areas. One of the most important of these is the ongoing effort to “adapt” the 1990 treaty on conventional armed forces in Europe, the CFE Treaty. Under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), negotiators for the thirty European nations party to the treaty have been working in Vienna on a new framework for several years. On March 30 they agreed on a 100-page document containing the key features of the new treaty. They hope to finish their work so that the treaty can be signed by their respective heads of state at the OSCE summit in Istanbul this November (International media, March 29, April 14, Arms Control Association Fact Sheet).
The impetus behind the original CFE treaty was to limit the number of offensive weapons–especially tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery–which the Soviet Union could mass in the heart of Europe along the divide between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Now the Russians see the treaty has a means of mitigating, to some extent, the eastward expansion of NATO by limiting the amount of NATO arms which can be stationed near Russia’s borders.
…NEW NATO MEMBERS MAKE CONCESSIONS.