The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE)
Negotiated during the last years of the Cold War, the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) is often referred to as the “cornerstone of European security”. The treaty, signed on November 19, 1990, eliminated the Soviet Union’s enormous quantitative advantage in conventional weapons in Europe by setting equal limits on the number of tanks, armored fighting vehicles (ACVs), heavy artillery, fighter jets and attack helicopters that NATO and the Warsaw Pact could deploy between the Atlantic Ocean and the Ural Mountains.
The CFE Treaty was designed to prevent either alliance from amassing forces for a blitzkrieg-type offensive, which could have triggered the use of nuclear weapons in response. Although the threat of such an offensive has all but disappeared with the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, member states have repeatedly touted the enduring value of arms limits and the inspection regime. of the treaty, which offer an unprecedented degree of transparency on military possessions.
Treaty Limited Equipment (TLE): NATO and the former Warsaw Pact were each limited to 20,000 tanks, 30,000 ACVs, 20,000 heavy artillery pieces, 6,800 combat aircraft and 2,000 helicopters. attack for the scope of the treaty. The member states of each alliance then divided their respective “block” boundary between themselves, effectively creating national boundaries. (The boundaries of the Soviet Union were then divided among eight of its successor states in 1992.) To prevent any country from amassing a large asymmetric arms stockpile, the treaty prohibits a single state from owning more than one third of total TLE.
US-Russia-Ukraine Trilateral Declaration, January 1994
The declaration / agreement was to take weapons out of the hands of a country ill-equipped to handle them. They were poorly maintained, which could lead to catastrophic accidents. Ukraine was broke and needed money. They couldn’t afford to dismantle the missiles and warheads on their own. There were concerns that the warheads could be moved to another country in order to provide money to Ukraine, or that they would fall into the hands of reckless people in Ukraine itself who would also try to sell them. It was the context of the Trilateral Agreement that served as the basis for the Budapest Memorandum.
The deal wiped out hundreds of ICBMs and bombers and nearly 2,000 strategic nuclear warheads that had been designed and built to strike the United States. In light of Russian aggression, many in Ukraine are now questioning the value of the Trilateral Declaration and the Budapest Memorandum.
Some Ukrainians argue that if Ukraine had retained at least some nuclear weapons, Russia would never have dared to attack Crimea and Donbass. However, if Ukraine had tried to retain nuclear weapons, it would have had to face political and economic costs, including:
* Kiev would have had limited relations with the United States and European countries, much like North Korea suffers. In particular, there would have been no strategic relationship with the United States.
* NATO would not have entered into a separate partnership relationship with Ukraine, and the European Union would not have signed a partnership and cooperation agreement, let alone an association agreement.
* Kiev would have received little reform, technical or financial assistance from the United States and the European Union.
* Western executive directors have reportedly blocked low-interest loans to Ukraine from the IMF, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Ukraine asked the United States if it would take its defense if Russia invaded, but the United States was unwilling to extend what would have been a military engagement similar to that of NATO allies.