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NATO VS OSCE

NATO summit decisions and their “compliance” with OSCE commitments

 

After carefully studying the decisions taken at the NATO Warsaw summit (8-9 October 2016) and Warsaw Summit Communique, it becomes obvious that they violate a number of commitments within the OSCE.  The agreed measures on politico-military and strategic reinforcement of the North Atlantic Alliance do not meet the objectives of partnership development and inter-organizational cooperation between major pan-European institutions and primarily OSCE thus distancing even further the possibility of building common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security community.    

It is of utmost importance to understand how the Warsaw Summit agreements correspond with fundamental OSCE documents. Look at the facts.    

1. Paragraph 2 of the Warsaw Summit Communique (hereinafter Communique) states, “Alliance remains an unparalleled community of freedom, peace, security, and shared values”. Paragraph 6 of the Communique retransmits the same logic: “NATO remains the transatlantic framework for strong collective defense and the essential forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies”.  Such a postulate openly contradicts with paragraph 23 of the 1992 Helsinki Summit declaration clearly stating, “that security is indivisible” and that “No State in our CSCE community will strengthen its security at the expense of the security of other States” as well as with similar commitments enshrined in paragraph 8 of the 1999 Charter for European Security additionally confirming that “Within the OSCE no State, group of States or organization can have any pre-eminent responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the OSCE area or can consider any part of the OSCE area as its sphere of influence”.

An attempt to define NATO as an exclusive “essential forum for security” is in direct violation of paragraph 2 of the 1992 Budapest Summit Declaration assigning “the central role of the CSCE in building a secure and stable CSCE community, whole and free”, paragraph 2 of the 1994 Budapest Decision on Strengthening the CSCE so “it plays a central role in the promotion of a common security space based on the principles of the Helsinki Final Act” and its paragraph 3 (subpara 6) aiming “to serve, based on consensus rules, as the inclusive and comprehensive forum for consultation, decision-making and co-operation in Europe”. Paragraph 4 of the 1996 Lisbon Declaration of a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the twenty-first century explicitly declares – “The OSCE plays a central role in achieving our goal of a common security space”.  

2. Paragraph 4 of the Communique reconfirming Alliance’s necessity to “project stability beyond …borders” is in clear breach of OSCE commitments in paragraph 2 of the Declaration on Principles Guiding Relations between participating States (Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe Final Act. Helsinki 1975) stating that “the participating States will refrain from any acts constituting a threat of force or direct or indirect use of force against another participating State”. Moreover, in order to avoid pressure on neighboring OSCE countries paragraph 6 of the same Declaration contains commitments of OSCE countries to “accordingly refrain from any form of armed intervention or threat of such intervention against another participating State”.

The issue has also been touched upon in detail by paragraph 8 of the 1999 Charter for European Security by reaffirming that “Within the OSCE no State, group of States or organization can have any pre-eminent responsibility for maintaining peace and stability in the OSCE area or can consider any part of the OSCE area as its sphere of influence”. The same commitments are reconfirmed by paragraph 3 of 2010 Astana Commemorative Declaration.

3. Paragraphs 11, 23, 36, 40 and 41 of the Communique are devoted to strengthening NATO’s military presence in regions directly bordering Russia’s territory. Meanwhile a number of OSCE documents emphasizes the need exercise restraint on the issue of military potential build up obliging to take other States legitimate security interest into account. Paragraph 23 of the 1992 Helsinki Summit declaration specifically points out “the indivisibility of security” and inability of States within the CSCE community “to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States”.  Paragraph 3 of the 1994 Budapest Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security reminds OSCE States “that security is indivisible and that the security of each of them is inseparably linked to the security of all others.  They will pursue their own security interests in conformity with the common effort to strengthen security and stability in the CSCE area and beyond”. Paragraph 13 of the same Code contains commitment for each participating State to “determine its military capabilitiesbearing in mind the legitimate security concerns of other States as well as the need to contribute to international security and stability”. Another clear commitment mentioned – “No participating State will attempt to impose military domination over any other participating State”.

Same provisions are secured in paragraph 7 of the 1996 Lisbon Declaration of a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the twenty-first century while paragraph 9 notes that security arrangements of all OSCE States “must not infringe upon the sovereign rights of other States and will take into account their legitimate security concerns”.

Given commitments are detailed also in paragraph 8 of the 1999 Charter for European Security and paragraph 3 of 2010 Astana Commemorative Declaration.

4. Paragraphs 110, 114 and 115 of the Communique acknowledge the continuity of NATO’s enlargement policy listing candidate countries aimed at joining the Alliance. One has to be reminded of paragraph 7 of the 1996 Lisbon Document (Lisbon Declaration on a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the twenty-first century), indeed reaffirming the inherent right of each and every participating State to be free to choose or change its security arrangements, including treaties of alliance, as they evolve. But it also contains a vital addendum which NATO never quotes. It's a Lisbon agreed commitment to “respect the rights of all others in this regard” and not to “strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States”.  Similar commitments are enshrined in also in paragraph 8 of the 1999 Charter for European Security and paragraph 3 of 2010 Astana Commemorative Declaration.

Furthermore, “open door policy” endorsed by NATO being a military-political alliance is a direct violation of provisions on the indivisibility of security in the OSCE area, as well as OSCE participating States’ commitments not to strengthen their security at the expense of the security of other States and necessity to take their legitimate security concerns into consideration while building up military potential.  The commitments mentioned are written down namely in paragraph 23 of the 1992 Helsinki Summit declaration, paragraphs 3, 12 and 13 of the 1994 Budapest Code of Conduct on politico-military aspects of security, paragraph 7 of the 1996 Lisbon Declaration on a common and comprehensive security model for Europe for the twenty-first century, paragraph 8 of the 1999 Charter for European Security and paragraph 3 of 2010 Astana Commemorative Declaration.

5. Paragraph 69 of the Communique declaring NATO’s adherence to conventional arms control “as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security” inter alia contains proposition on NATO’s determination “to preserve, strengthen, and modernise conventional arms control in Europe”. In this regard, it is worth reminding that the faith of the 1999 adapted Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), which took into account new geopolitical reality – dissolution of the Warsaw pact – gives a clear example of security principles’ selective interpretation by NATO countries themselves. As is well known it is they who have not ratified the Agreement on adaptation of the CFE Treaty, thus violating point 1 of Article 20, which states – “This Treaty shall be subject to ratification by each State Party in accordance with its constitutional procedures”.

The abovementioned information would allow an impartial observer to better understand NATO decisions and make conclusions on compliance of Alliance’s guidelines with NATO States’ existing commitments within the OSCE and its fundamental documents such as 1975 Helsinki Final Act, 1992 Helsinki Summit Declaration, 1994 Budapest Document, 1996 Lisbon Document, 1999 Charter for European Security, 1999 adapted Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and 2010 Astana Commemorative Declaration.

These are conclusions based on facts rather than their interpretations.   

 


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