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Ministerial Meeting of the NAC,
Brussels, 15 December 1999
Press  Release  M-NAC2 (99)166

Final Communiqué of MFA Meeting

38.We reaffirm that arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation will continue to play an important role in the achievement of NATO's security objectives. 

39.The Agreement on the Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul on 19 November, will ensure the continuing viability of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of European security and stability. The Allies made comprehensive proposals which served as an important basis for the negotiations, in particular for the introduction of a system of nationally based equipment limits and improvements to the Treaty provisions concerning stability, transparency and predictability. The Adapted Treaty will enhance security throughout Europe, not least as it introduces a more constraining structure of National and Territorial Ceilings, while permitting sufficient deployment flexibility for routine training purposes and effective crisis management, thereby ensuring NATO's ability to fulfil its responsibilities. We are pleased that the Adapted Treaty will permit accession by new States Parties and strengthen Treaty requirements concerning host nation consent to the presence of foreign forces. 

40.We welcome the important political commitments contained in the CFE Final Act, in particular the bilateral agreements reached by Russia and Georgia, and Russia and Moldova, on withdrawal of Russian Forces. But it is essential that the CFE Treaty remains effective and credible. NATO countries are concerned about continued Russian non-compliance with the Treaty's Article V («flank») limits. We note Russia's commitment to comply with all the Treaty's provisions and limitations. We also note Russia's assurances that its exceeding of CFE limits will be of a temporary nature. NATO Allies expect Russia to honour its pledge to comply with CFE limits as soon as possible and, in the meantime, to provide maximum transparency regarding its forces and weapons deployed in the North Caucasus, in accordance with the CFE Treaty and the Vienna Document. Entry into Force of the Adapted Treaty can only be envisaged in the context of compliance by all States Parties with the Treaty's limitations. It is on this basis that we will work towards bringing the Adapted Treaty into force. Pending the completion of this process, the continued implementation of the existing Treaty and its associated documents remains crucial.