BERLIN – All three major disarmament and arms control agreements between East and West have now collapsed. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says this makes the world more dangerous.
On Thursday evening in Berlin – on the anniversary of the fall of the Wall on November 9, 1989 – Stoltenberg spoke with deep concern about Russia’s withdrawal this week from the 1989 Convention on Conventional Arms, or the so-called Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty.
– The era is over, when Russia this week withdrew from the last of the three major disarmament agreements, he told VG in Berlin.
He adds: – It makes the world more dangerous because it opens up more weapons to us and gives us less transparency.
He places the responsibility on Moscow
NATO countries responded to Russia on Tuesday of this week Suspension of the agreement For his part.
Stoltenberg says NATO cannot abide by agreements that the other party has abandoned.
It holds Moscow unilaterally responsible for the fact that the three main agreements negotiated during and after the Cold War are no longer valid:
The Secretary-General of NATO says: Russia’s withdrawal is irresponsible.
– Why is he irresponsible?
– It is irresponsible because they no longer consider themselves bound by the ceiling on the number of weapons stipulated in the agreement, but also because the system of mutual monitoring and inspection is collapsing. This in itself creates confidence in adhering to agreements.
– The Convention on Conventional Forces in Europe ceased to function in 2008. But with Russia’s termination this week, the agreement finally stops.
– The Long-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (New START) was in place until Russia withdrew from it earlier this year. This does not necessarily mean that more nuclear weapons will be deployed simultaneously. But the possibility of verifying his observation no longer exists.
The third agreement on banning intermediate-range nuclear missiles on European territory actually stopped in 2019, when Russia began deploying them.
In addition, Russia last week withdrew its approval of the agreement prohibiting test explosions with nuclear weapons, Stoltenberg says.
– How does NATO officially respond to the collapse of the recent agreement?
We say in a joint statement that it is an irresponsible and dangerous decision that we condemn. Because it makes the world more dangerous.
Does this mean new armament also from NATO countries?
– We do not want to reflect what Russia is doing. We have not deployed ground-based intermediate-range missiles since the end of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. This will not change our plans immediately. But now there are two main challenges: The first is that Russia has freed itself from the agreement. The second reason is that China is working to build its capabilities in the field of nuclear weapons without restrictions or transparency. He says it contributes to uncertainty, which contributes to bad decisions.
Losing more interest
Stoltenberg remembers his early years in politics in the 1970s and 1980s, when a whole generation of young politicians became strongly involved in disarmament.
– This was the most important thing we did, which was the fight against nuclear weapons and the struggle to reach agreements limiting nuclear weapons, he says.
-Do you miss this commitment?
– He answers: – As an older politician, I have to be careful about calling for participation among young people.
-But I sometimes ask myself why you don’t get more attention when you break down. This week, the last of the big three disappeared. This may be an expression of resignation. This is dangerous, because you must continue to work for arms control, Stoltenberg says.
Espen Barth Eddy: – Fast
Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (Ap) was also in Berlin on November 9, along with the Norwegian Crown Prince couple.
Norway is a party to the Convention on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, and Ede says the Foreign Office has now begun work on suspending it.
– It’s crazy, but it happens, he tells VG.
– It is sad that the agreement has been terminated. We want better times in the future, but we have to deal with what they are doing now. That is why we have suspended the agreement, but we are not withdrawing from it as Russia is doing now, says the Foreign Minister.
Eddy was in Germany in the 1980s as a student and an active member of the international work of the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.
Berlin and Checkpoint Charlie along with the wall were the center of security policy in the world. We were interested in disarmament, but here in Berlin it was very all-consuming. We have been a few years since the fall of the Berlin Wall with disarmament, globalization and Russia moving closer to the West. But there was a lot that didn’t go as we thought at the time, he says.
Is the world now more dangerous without these agreements?
– The possibility of all-out nuclear war, or Armageddon, is likely to be lower. But the risk of situations that could develop into local and regional nuclear wars is now higher, says Espen Barth Eide.
note! On Friday evening, Stoltenberg will receive the Henry Kissinger Award during a solemn ceremony in Berlin. Stoltenberg says that Henry Kissinger (100 years old), the former US Secretary of State, himself wanted to be present. But he canceled the concert at the last minute due to deteriorating physical health. But German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and top US Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi are coming.
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