13:37 GMT28 January 2020
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    The new arms control treaty should be expanded to new types of conventional armaments, including cruise missiles, drones and carrier-based aircraft Evgeny Buzhinskiy, former head of the International Treaty Directorate at the Russian Defense Ministry, told RIA Novosti in response to Frank-Walter Steinmeier initiative.

    The German Foreign Minister has urged Russia and the West to sign a new arms control agreement to avoid an arms race. Specific measures that Steinmeier mentioned in an opinion piece for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung include regional caps on armaments, transparency measures, rules covering new military technology such as drones, and the ability to control arms even in disputed territories.

    "Since Russia suspended the original Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) in 2007, [Western countries] have mumbled that Moscow is undermining the arms control process. If so, we need to sign a new treaty," Buzhinskiy said.

    The document, according to the analyst, will have to take into account Russia's terms.

    "If they want to, let them agree to the terms that Russia proposed: the new treaty needs to cover new types of armaments, including cruise missiles, carrier-based aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicle," he said.

    He added that the new document must focus on providing European security, instead of merely reflecting what the United States and its European allies want.

    Paratroopers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade depart Lielvarde Airbase (NATO), Latvia. File photo
    © Flickr / The US Army
    Paratroopers of 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade depart Lielvarde Airbase (NATO), Latvia. File photo

    Leonid Ivashov, president of the Moscow-based Academy of Geopolitical Problems, shared similar concerns. "Russia and Europe need such a treaty, but the US does not," he said, adding that the work on the new deal should be relaunched.

    "This deal will put a brake on the arms race and will prevent both sides from creating armed assault groups," he noted. "The spirit and the meaning of the original Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) should be revived."

    Ivashov maintained that Steinmeier's initiative needs to be supported. "But we have to keep in mind that Europe is currently under massive quasi-colonial influence of the United States with regard to security and political issues. This is why it will be hard to implement these agreements," he warned.

    NATO EUFOR ceremony
    © Flickr / Rock Cohen
    NATO EUFOR ceremony

    The analyst further said that Russia and the EU could create a European system of collective security by themselves, without Washington's involvement.

    Defense analyst Vladimir Evseev, the deputy director of the CIS Institute, told RIA Novosti that the new arms control treaty could not be signed until the Ukrainian crisis is resolved since the European system of collective security will be "inefficient" if Ukraine is not part of it.

    Evseev maintained that both sides should discuss the new CFE treaty, but they need to "begin with confidence-building measures that will help to reduce tensions." This is something that could be discussed with the Obama administration.

    "Clearly, the United States, not Germany or France makes all decisions in NATO. Since even large European states are not politically independent, we will have to reach an agreement with the US," he added.


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    military buildup, arms race, drones, cruise missiles, European security, security, conventional weapons, arms control, weapons, Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, NATO, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Europe, United States, Russia
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