Russia’s deputy defense minister has suggested updating the agreements on conventional weapons control, which no longer match the political situation and the effectiveness of modern high-precision arms.
Speaking at a session of the Russia-NATO council, Anatoly Antonov said that the new ideas could be used when the European countries start building a new space of security and mutual trust.
“In the current military-political environment there is no need to keep unchanged the tools of control over arms and disarmament that was formed in the times of the Cold War and based on the concept of military confrontation between two political systems,” the Russian representative told the council.
He also said that more and more nations were coming to the conclusion that the Treaty on Conventional Weapons in Europe (CFE) has fully depleted itself and is practically dead.
The Russian official also noted that the newly-developed weapons have practically erased the difference in effectiveness between nuclear and conventional weapons. He said that conventional high-precision weapons must be considered when nations discuss nuclear weapons control, especially those weapons that can be used as means of delivery for nuclear warheads and other weapons of mass destruction.
Russia proposed that NATO take a closer look at the 2010 Russia-US talks on strategic offensive weapons, which ended in a treaty that offered no restrictions and allowed both parties to decide on the structure of their own nuclear arsenals.
“In our view it is much more important to take a broader look at the control of all types of weapons that can be used in solving the offensive and defensive tasks,” Antonov emphasized.
He noted that experts have not yet reached an agreement on how to evaluate the combat effectiveness of drone aircraft that were not at all covered by old treaties. The same applies to modern missile defense systems and space-based weapons, he added.
Antonov pointed out that in current conditions, compact and highly-effective units can act in greater distances from their bases. Russia holds that this changes the application of international agreements on force dislocation and regional restrictions, and proposes having a broader look at the “geography problem” Antonov said.
At the same time, he noted that the 2011 Vienna Document and the Treaty on Open Skies remained urgent and allowed for an adequate estimation of the balance of conventional forces in the Europe-Atlantic region.