This chapter explores the different interests of the Baltic Rim states in the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). Four states — Denmark, Germany, Poland and Russia — are parties to CFE, as are all members of NATO and the former Warsaw Pact. Finland and Sweden, both neutral and non-aligned throughout the Cold War, are not parties to CFE. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as member states of the former Soviet Union, were part of the CFE regime from Treaty signature in November 1990 until they achieved independence from Moscow in late 1991. At that time the United States insisted that the three Baltic states opt out of the Treaty. In retrospect the 1991 Baltic opt-out looks misguided, although at the time only Poland and Hungary raised any objections.
Although Mikhail Gorbachev and his Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze were enthusiatic about CFE, Boris Yeltsin and the Russian military have never liked the Treaty. They claim that CFE, was overtaken by events such as the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, and since early 1993 have repeatedly called for radical revisions. The non-Russian parties agreed that CFE should be adapted to new circumtances, but not until after the three year reduction period ended in late 1995. A Review Conference in May 1996 made several concessions to Russia at the expense of neighbouring states, and a CFE Adaptation Conferenece began in Vienna in January 1997. if the three Baltic states want to protect their interest vis-à-vis Russia they would be well advised to rejoin the CFE regime as soon as possible.
KeywordsForeign Minister Baltic State North Atlantic Treaty Organisation Article Versus Compliance Regime
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