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US Department of State, 
Bureau of Arms Control, 
Report to the Congress 1998

Adherence to and Compliance with CFE


During 1998, most of the provisions of the CFE Treaty were implemented with continuing success. By the end of 1998, the States Parties had reduced more than 51,500 pieces of conventional armaments and equipment inside the CFE zone according to full Treaty provisions and against national reduction obligations. In addition, many States Parties have further reduced their holdings to lower levels than required - notifying voluntary reductions of over 3,200 items of equipment below limits. By the same time Russia had notified for destruction or conversion another approximately 13,000 items towards obligations outside the CFE area of application and inherited from the former Soviet Union (FSU). Meanwhile more than 3,300 intrusive on-site inspections had taken place by the end of the year. Throughout 1998 negotiations continued on adaptation of the Treaty to new political circumstances, including the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union and the enlargement of NATO. At the OSCE Ministerial in December 1998, the CFE States Parties agreed that the 1999 OSCE Summit was the goal for completion and signature of the adapted Treaty. 

Five of the issues discussed in last year's Report have been judged as either resolved or apparently resolved, including Russia's failure to declare a unit and its TLE and the longstanding issue of Russian ACVs improperly marked as ambulances. In addition, the United States and Russia reached agreement on procedures to resolve a sixth issue (denial of Treaty-required in-country and inspection time). 

Nevertheless, the majority of the compliance issues that were described in last year's Report continue to be of concern. Armenia and Azerbaijan continue to exceed their overall maximum levels of treaty-limited equipment (TLE) in one or more categories. Russia continues to station forces on the territory of Moldova without Moldovan consent. Russia continues to declare more items of equipment as decommissioned than the Treaty allows to be exempted from counting against TLE limits. As a result, although Russian data shows Russia to be in compliance with the interim limits in the original flank zone (limits that will be replaced by lower ones on May 31, 1999), Russia actually exceeds these limits in at least one category if the excess decommissioned items are properly counted against limits. Armenia and Azerbaijan have continued to fail to declare a proper reduction obligation and neither has carried out the reductions it would be required to complete according to Treaty rules. Azerbaijan has by far the greatest shortfall in this regard, but has been notifying and completing additional reductions -- albeit late. There has been no progress in resolving the issues related to the transfer of TLE from Russia to Armenia, or of Armenian forces located on the territory of Azerbaijan without that state's permission. Other continuing unresolved concerns include: Ukraine's exceeding its limits in ground TLE categories in active forces in zone 4.3; Russia's continued refusal to report MT-LB-U APC look-alikes which are accountable under the CFE Protocol of Existing Types (POET); and Russia's and Belarus' occasional improper denial of full access sites during on-site inspections. Similarly, concerns remain over Belarus' use of the Treaty exemption for equipment temporarily in the CFE zone while awaiting export. In addition, the eight CFE successor states to the FSU have made little or no further progress on meeting their collective obligation to declare and complete TLE reductions equal to those the Soviet Union would have been obligated to complete. Finally, Russia and Ukraine continue to share an unfulfilled obligation to carry out naval infantry/coastal defense (NI/CD) related reductions equal to those contained in the Soviet Union's legally binding commitment of June 1991. Although Russia and Ukraine finally agreed on the division of the assets of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet in late 1997 (which had been thought to be the main problem blocking resolution of the NI/CD-related reduction issue), there was no progress on this issue during 1998. 

During 1998, several new issues arose. Armenia failed to report two types of APC look-alikes that had previously been declared in its data and which the United States has reason to believe are still present. One of these, the MT-LB-U, is also not reported by Russia. Belarus improperly denied on-site inspection access to a site on the basis of subordination rather than the Treaty-specified basis of geography -- a practice which it, like Russia, had occasionally followed in the past. Concerns surfaced over Russian practices used by Russia to complete its destruction obligations east of the Urals (EoU). Finally, the latest Ukrainian data show Ukraine to be in excess of its overall declared limits in ACVs in active forces.