New treaty needed to "reboot" Euro-Atlantic security, Russia says

Other News Materials 18 February 2009 18:43 (UTC +04:00)

Russia's proposal for a new security treaty was needed to "reboot" Euro-Atlantic security, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said Wednesday in Vienna, as he called on countries to join the negotiations, dpa reported.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Groushko presented the plan by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Critics say it is aimed at checking the United States' power in Central and Eastern Europe.

Although Russia did not plan to replace existing treaties, Groushko said, "previous commitments were only selectively or impartially implemented," leading to an erosion of existing security mechanisms.

US representative Kyle Scott asked Groushko why Russia was proposing a new treaty instead of adhering to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), according to a diplomat attending the OSCE meeting.

In 2007, Russia unilaterally suspended the CFE, which limits armament levels in Europe.

Groushko made also clear in Vienna that his country did not want human rights, economics or environmental issues to be included in the treaty.

Russia's proposal calls for clearly defined criteria for peaceful conflict resolution and for laying down principles of arms control, while making sure that no single military alliance dominates Europe.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a commentary for the French daily Le Monde earlier this month that they were ready to discuss these issues, but that they stayed committed to current European security and arms control standards.