Need Win-Win, Not Lose-Lose

Pres. Biden, Putin & Zelensky Must Mutually Pledge Sacred Honor

Budapest Memorandum - Minsk Agreements - MSC - DNR & LNR

Vladimir Putin signs the documents of recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.

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By Ravi Batra

We are in a perfect storm, caused by the loss of sacred honor being a necessary predicate for intercourse in the comity of nations. We have permitted diplomatic protocols – that exist to compel adversaries-at-war to be respectfully treated and addressed – to be rudely treated, even in public. Forgotten, is that even a private insult can trigger war. Ask United Nations’ Counter-Terrorism USG Vladimir Voronkov about the dangers of insult on peace and security.

President Zelensky lit up MSC.

Ravi Batra with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the UNGA High Level Week, September 2019.

President Volodymyr Zelensky lit up the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, February 19, 2022, now-chaired by Christoph Heusgen, by challenging the status quo and tugged on the assembled leaders’ moral compass, and earned a standing ovation heard in Moscow. Then, the very next day, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba “connected” with the American people during his 60 Minutes interview by Lesley Stahl. The public opinion was moving dramatically in favor of Ukraine. On a chessboard, as every geopolitical Chess master knows, public opinion converts a Pawn into the Knight or the Queen, and so, this was not to be permitted, and hence, triggered a history-changing Monday in Moscow, the 70th birthday of the late Russian Permanent Representative Vitaly Churkin, and our Presidents Day 2022.

DNR & LNR Decreed.

President Ronald Reagan Making His Berlin Wall Speech at Brandenburg Gate West Berlin, 6 December 1987. Public domain

With a stroke of a steadily-held pen, Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic were decreed as independent nations by President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on February 21, 2022. Eight years ago, Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych wrote a letter to President Putin – produced in the United Nations Security Council by Russia’s then-P.R. Vitaly Churkin on March 3, 2014 – inviting Russia into Crimea, hence, not “an invasion,” Russia argues: as head of state issued an invitation to pierce his nation’s sovereignty. Now, as Donetsk and Luhansk are not UN-recognized nations, they lack even the legal-veneer to invite another nation for military or peacekeeping help. Hence, Russian troops in DNR or LNR, is in fact a Russian invasion of Ukraine. To hold otherwise, is to grant a license to all invaders to first recognize someone, and then have that someone issue an invitation. Such circularity is not legal. So, we are at the start of a European war, that can easily slip into an all-consuming WWIII that ultimately activates, when the situation becomes dire, Mutual Assured Destruction. This will not lead to a better European Security architecture that President Putin has worriedly sought, even by illegally invading and occupying parts of Moldova, and Georgia in 2008, to offset NATO.

In September 1990, Gorbachev met repeatedly with U.S. President George Bush at the Helsinki Summit. Public domain

History Teaches that World Wars & Cold Wars Destroy Societies and even Governments.

All of us won World War II, created peace and ideals-loving United Nations, but soon thereafter, lost our success to the start of the Cold War, and in 1961, the Berlin Wall was built to split the German people apart. The Cold War was bi-polar, stable, predictable, and still, we created the Helsinki Final Act in 1975 (and established CSCE for United States, USSR, et al to talk). Then we upgraded to – “trust, but verify” – a principle announced by President Ronald Reagan to energize Hope and Peace. And, then the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, due to the German peoples’ yearning to be united, and breathe free of government’s oppressive oversight.

NATO; Baker & Gorbachev Turn the Sword into Plough Shears; Budapest Memorandum.

The united-German peoples’ euphoria – captured with keepsake-pieces of the Berlin Wall – affected domestic politics of all nations, as all nations’ people caught that euphoria, including, in the USSR, and the Cold War suddenly ended, because the world’s everyday people wished it so. General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev heard them, and felt the resulting tsunami of Hope and Possibility that in fact existed in every beating heart across the world. Our President George Herbert Walker Bush, through Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and President Gorbachev, both Cold War warriors, jointly rose to grab the Sword and turned it into Plough Shears. They even discussed NATO’s expansion into East Germany, aka GDR; which, unfortunately, a decade later, led to an honest dispute about the “implied inference” of NATO’s non-expansion beyond GDR. Since both Secretary Baker and President Gorbachev were persons of honor, they both confirmed in the early 1990’s that they had – expressly – only spoken about NATO expansion into East Germany, and so, that the written agreement was honored in full. In 1990, we had the Charter of Paris for a New Europe.

Ravi Batra, placing flowers at Wall of Heroes, with Ukraine’s DFM Eugene Enin, June 2021.

In 1994, we had the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, whereby Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, each of whom had substantial nuclear weapons to prevent any invasion, agreed to give them up and become defenseless, in exchange for the Memorandum’s security assurances – given collectively by the United States, Russia and UK, with lesser guarantees by France and China – against threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. United States of America, as the world’s Superpower, young nations – Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan – relied upon our word that nobody will harm them. We, the United States, founded in 1776 by pledging our “Sacred Honor,” need to now, even belatedly, honor our word; in the Budapest Memorandum, it is in writing.

In 1997, NATO-Russia Council Founding Act; and in 1999, the Istanbul Declaration: OSCE. Then, after the policy errors of President Boris Yeltsin, the serious and rainy-day ready President Putin took charge, and early in 2000’s started to raise his NATO-expansion concerns, if Russia was not red-carpet welcomed as a NATO member.

Ravi Batra, placing flowers at Wall of Heroes, with Ukraine’s DFM Eugene Enin, June 2021.

1990 Moldova; 2008 South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia; Minsk.

Russia took “control” of Transdniestria in 1990, and in 2008, South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. President Putin’s chosen successor in 2008, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, invaded Georgia to keep South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Russia’s zone of influence. In 2014, Crimea was taken ‘by invitation,” and the Donbass region erupted into a civil war, with Donetsk and Luhansk having a borderless-joinder with Russia, and a Line of Contact, with a 15km buffer zone on either side within Ukraine. The 30km in Donbass are within OSCE’s SMM duties.

The Minsk Protocol – an agreement – was to end the civil war in the Donbas region; and was written in 2014 by the Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, consisting of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and OSCE, with help from France and Germany in the so-called Normandy Format. The agreement was signed by representatives of the Trilateral Contact Group and, without recognition of any status, by the then-heads of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic. This didn’t stop the fighting in the Donbas, so a new Minsk II was signed on 12 February 2015. This too failed. But the Normandy Format parties insist that it remains the basis for any future resolution to the conflict. Essentially, the Minsk I & II insult Ukraine and her head of state, for having to treat leaders of DNR and LNR as co-equals. Still, without local political investment in, or ownership of, any settlement, no settlement will work.

Ravi Batra with the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko with a Petition to the UN SG to release 24 Ukrainian sailors captured in Sea of Azov, February 2019.

Russia’s Security Guarantees: 2009; 2012 “More Flexibility”; and 2021. Beijing February 4, 2022 No Limits Partnership.

To avoid the “implied inference” regarding NATO-expansion, Russia submitted in 2009: “The draft of the European Security Treaty” between Russia and United States, and draft “Agreement on Basic Principles Governing Relations Among NATO-Russia Council Member States in Security Sphere.” According to Reuters, in 2012, Seoul, President Obama “assured outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he will have ‘more flexibility’ to deal with contentious issues like missile defense after the U.S. presidential election. …and Medvedev said he would relay the message to incoming Russian president Vladimir Putin.” Then, 2014, Crimea and Donbass occurred.

More recently, on December 17, 2021, Russia publicly issued draft: “Treaty between The United States of America and the Russian Federation on security guarantees” and “Agreement on measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation and member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” Our response was made privately.

Meanwhile, on February 4, 2022, President Putin, ostensibly in Beijing for the Winter Olympics, entered into a “No Limits” partnership with President Xi Jinping, who clarified that there were “no forbidden zones.”

Russia then publicly issued a “written reaction” to our private-reply on February 17, 2022 – a link of which “written reaction” was reply-tweeted by Russian Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy on February 19, 2021 at 11:09 pm to my Tweet (@RaviBatra) at 11:06 pm. A copy of the 2021 twin draft-treaties and written reaction follow, herein.

The President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Xi Jinping meets with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, 4 July 2017. Credit: Fmprc.gov.cn

Win-Win, not Lose-Lose.

Global peace and security is the responsibility entrusted by nearly eight billion human beings, and countless more species that inhabit planet earth. Mutual assured destruction is not fail-safe, hence, UN Security Council was created, and US, Russia, UK, France and China (then-ROC, now-PRC for 50 years) were made Permanent Members and wield the all powerful “veto,” in our now-multi-polar world. UN SG Antonio Guterrez is a tireless, but lonely, constant-warrior for peaceful dispute resolution.

Diplomacy alone can provide a needed reset, even without “Finlandization,” but only if – “We Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes, And Our Sacred Honor” – as Thomas Jefferson and 55 other signatories did to effectuate our cherished Declaration of Independence, and honored their word. We, the United States, have much to share with the world. But, we need to have mutuality of respect and trust, albeit, verifiable, if eight billion of our fellow human beings are to avoid mutual assured destruction, in one horrific series of mushroom clouds, or in a slow motion start of a world war from expansionist empire-dreams of one or more, exasperation, or worst of all, fear of a nation’s leader. Sanctions, ultimately, just become the “ticket price” to do what one ought not do, and hence, futile.

Zelenskyy and U.S. President Joe Biden on 1 September 2021

It worth noting that China’s distinguished Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the MSC on February 19th: “The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of every country must be safeguarded and ‘Ukraine is no exception’…“[a]ll countries’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be safeguarded because these are the basic principles in international relations established through the United Nations Constitution.”

The Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi.
Credit: under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

The P5 need to make it right; at least, we must as the preeminent global superpower. Its unbecoming of Great Powers to behave in any manner less than verifiably honorable, and once we all start doing so, the security concerns will be justly addressed, and the UN’s SDGs achieved earlier.

President Biden, President Putin, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and President Zelensky need to make it right, and restore to Ukraine, in full measure, her sovereignty and territorial integrity, even if autonomous zones are created to permit Russian-speaking Ukrainians to feel at-home in Ukraine. China and France – who also guaranteed the Budapest Memorandum – need to make it stick. Its critical for the world order, that Ukraine need not ever feel defenseless, or worse, violated, because in 1994 Ukraine trusted the Permanent Members of the UNSC: US, Russia and England, with support from China and France. The ultimate resolution by the P5 needs to address the long-suffering conflicts in Moldova and Georgia. Since 2015, I have urged that Russia be made a part of NATO, to solve on a wholesale basis, many disputes in one clean sweep.

The Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on 8 July 2017.
Credit: Kremlin.ru

Recently I learned that prior to the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, Secretary Baker in his Op-Ed of December 5, 1993 in the LA Times, entitled – “Expanding to the East – A New NATO  Alliance – Full membership may be the most sought-after ‘good’ now enticing Eastern and Central European states, particularly, Russia” –  proceeded to predict that: “[i]n Brussels, the NATO leaders should draw up a clear road map for expanding the alliance eastward to include the states of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, especially a democratic Russia. Otherwise, the most successful alliance in history is destined to follow the threat that created it into the dustbin of history.” I endorse and adopt Secretary James A. Baker III’s goal of a happy functioning comity of nations, and dustbin-prediction wholeheartedly.

Respect, not insult, and Honor, not violation, alone can achieve the lofty ideals enshrined in the UN Charter – for humanity’s Hopes to be realized.

To follow: copy of Russia’s 2021 twin draft-treaties, and “written reaction.”

Links 1-9:

1. 1975 “Helsinki Final Act”
https://www.cvce.eu/content/publication/2005/7/12/1bccd494-0f57-4816-ad18-6aaba4d73d56/publishable_en.pdf

2. 1990 “Paris Charter”
https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/0/6/39516.pdf

3. 1997 “NATO-Russia Founding Act”
https://www.nato.int/cps/su/natohq/official_texts_25468.htm

4. 1999 “Istanbul Declaration”
https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/6/5/39569.pdf

5. 2009 “European Security Treaty”
http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/6152

6. 2009 “Russia Council Member States in [the] Security Sphere”
http://www.bits.de/NRANEU/US-Russia/NR-DraftTreaty2009ocr.pdf

7. 12/17/2021 “Treaty Between the United States of America and the Russian Federation on Security Guarantees’
https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/rso/nato/1790818/?lang=en

8. 12/17/2021 “Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”
https://mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/rso/nato/1790803/?lang=en

9. 17 February 2022, Press release on submitting a written reaction to the US response concerning security guarantees: https://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/1799157/?lang=en

17 February 2022 17:00

Press release on submitting a written reaction to the US response concerning security guarantees

284-17-02-2022

 

On February 17, 2022, US Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan, summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia, was handed the following reaction to the earlier received US response to the Russian draft treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on security guarantees:

– General Characteristics

We note that the United States has failed to give a constructive response to the basic elements of the Russia-drafted treaty with the US on security guarantees. This is with regard to the renunciation of NATO’s further expansion, the revocation of the “Bucharest formula” on prospective NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia, and desisting from the creation of military bases on the territory of states, which were formerly constituent entities of the USSR and which are not members of the Alliance, including the use of their infrastructure to conduct any kind of military activity, as well as the return of the NATO military potentials, including strike capabilities, and NATO infrastructure to their status as of the year 1997, when the Russia-NATO Founding Act was signed. These provisions are of fundamental importance for the Russian Federation.

The United States has disregarded the package nature of the Russian proposals, intentionally picking out only the “convenient” topics, which, in turn, were “twisted” to create advantages for the United States and its allies.  This approach, as well as the accompanying rhetoric of US officials, can only support the justified doubts about Washington being really committed to remedying the European security situation.

Russia is concerned about the increasing US and NATO military activity in the direct vicinity of Russia’s borders, whereas its “red lines,” core security interests, and sovereign right to defend them continue to be ignored. The ultimatums on withdrawing Russian forces from certain areas of Russia’s territory, accompanied with threats to toughen sanctions, are unacceptable and undermine the prospects for reaching genuine agreements.

Given the lack of readiness on the part of the United States and its allies to come to terms on firm and legally binding guarantees on Russia’s security, Moscow will have to respond, including by implementing certain military-technical measures.

– Ukraine

No “Russian invasion” in Ukraine, something officials in the United States and their allied countries have been predicting since last autumn, is happening or being planned; thus, claims of Russia’s responsibility for an escalation cannot be seen as anything but an attempt to exert pressure and devalue Russia’s security guarantees proposals.

Mentioning Russia’s obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in this context is irrelevant to the intra-Ukrainian conflict and does not apply to the circumstances of Ukraine’s internal conflict. Ukraine’s loss of territorial integrity is the result of internal processes in that country.

Accusations against Russia in the US response of having occupied Crimea also hold no water. A coup took place in Kiev in 2014 whose initiators, with support from the United States and its allies, pursued a course to build a nationalist state infringing on the rights of Russians and the Russian-speaking population as well as other “non-titular” ethnicities. It is not surprising that in that situation, Crimeans voted for reunification with Russia. The decision of the people in Crimea and Sevastopol to reunite with the Russian Federation was made through the free expression of will by exercising the right to self-determination under the UN Charter. There was no use of force or threat of force. Which country Crimea belongs to is a settled matter.

Should Ukraine be accepted to NATO, a tangible threat will arise that the Kiev regime may try to get Crimea back using force and dragging the United States and its allies (under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty) into a direct armed conflict with Russia, with all the consequences that come with it.

The recurring statement in the US response of Russia having allegedly heated up the conflict in Donbass, is groundless. The conflict was strictly an intra-Ukrainian affair. Settling this conflict is only possible by implementing the Minsk agreements and the Package of Measures, with the order of priority and responsibility clearly stated in it and unanimously confirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2202, including by the United States, France and the UK. Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk are named as the parties to the conflict in paragraph 2 of the “Package of Measures” approved by this resolution. None of these documents say anything about Russia’s responsibility for the conflict in Donbass. Russia and the OSCE act as intermediaries in the main negotiation format – the Contact Group – and, along with Berlin and Paris, in the Normandy format that develops recommendations for the belligerent parties and monitors compliance with these recommendations.

The following steps have fundamental importance for the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine: forcing Kiev to comply with the Package of Measures, ceasing weapon supplies to Ukraine, recalling all Western advisors and instructors, NATO countries’ forgoing any joint drills with the Armed Forces of Ukraine and withdrawing any earlier supplied foreign weapons from the territory of Ukraine.

In this respect, it should be noted that, during the news conference following the talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Moscow on February 7, 2022, President Vladimir Putin stressed that we are open to a dialogue and urge everybody to “think about creating stable security conditions for everyone, equal for all participants in international affairs.”

– Configuration of forces

We are noting that, in its response to Russian proposals, the United States insists that progress in improving the situation in the field of European security can only be achieved in conditions of de-escalation, as regards Russia’s threatening actions directed against Ukraine. As we understand, this implies a demand that Russian forces be withdrawn from Ukrainian borders. At the same time, the United States is only ready to discuss mutual obligations to refrain from deploying permanent forces with combat objectives on Ukrainian territory and to consider the possibility of discussing the matter of conventional armed forces. As far as everything else is concerned, the US party remains silent on our proposals contained in Article 4.2 and Article 5.1 of the draft bilateral treaty and states that the current configuration of US and NATO forces is limited, proportional, and that it completely meets obligations under the Russia-NATO Founding Act.

We assume that the deployment of the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces on Russian territory does not infringe and cannot infringe on fundamental US interests. We would like to recall that there are no Russian forces on Ukrainian territory.

At the same time, the United States and its allies have expanded their military infrastructure eastward and deployed troop contingents on the territory of new members. They circumvented the CFE Treaty’s restrictions and used a very loose interpretation of the provisions of the Russia-NATO Founding Act on renouncing the additional permanent deployment of substantial military forces. The situation that has evolved as a result of these actions is unacceptable. We insist on the withdrawal of all US military units and weapons, deployed in Central and Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe and the three Baltic states. We are convinced that national potentials in these zones are quite sufficient. We are ready to discuss this matter on the basis of Articles 4 and 5 of the Russian draft treaty.

– Indivisible security  

While reading the US response, we failed to see any confirmation of the fact that the US party is fully committed to unfailingly honouring the principle of indivisible security. Generalised statements that the US party takes into account this postulate directly contradict Washington’s unwillingness to renounce a counter-productive and destabilising line to create advantages for itself and its allies at the expense of Russia’s security interests. This is exactly what is happening as a result of the unrestrained implementation of NATO’s policy, with the leading role of the US, aimed at the completely unlimited geostrategic and military development of post-Soviet space, including Ukrainian territory. We see this matter as particularly sensitive. All this is taking place in direct proximity to Russia’s borders. They are therefore ignoring our “red lines” and basic security interests, and they are rejecting Russia’s inalienable right to uphold them. It goes without saying that we find this unacceptable.

Additionally, we would like to recall that this principle is formalised in the preamble of the 2011 Treaty between the Russian Federation and the United States of America on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. In February 2021, the parties agreed to extend the Treaty for another five years without any exemptions. This principle is also formalised in a number of fundamental OSCE and Russia-NATO documents, approved at the highest level, namely, in the preamble of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, the 1990 Charter of Paris for a New Europe, the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act, the 1999 Istanbul Charter for European Security, the 2002 Russia-NATO Declaration signed in Rome, and the 2010 Astana Declaration of the OSCE Summit.

We note that the response that we received refers to Washington’s commitment to the concept of indivisible security. But the document downgrades it to the right of states to freely choose or change ways of facilitating their security, including allied treaties. This freedom is not absolute and accounts for only half of the well-known formula, formalised in the Charter for European Security. Its second part stipulates that, while exercising this right, the concerned parties should not strengthen their national security at the expense of other states’ security. We cannot consider the letter that we received from NATO, dated February 10, 2022, as a reply to Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s message of January 28, 2022 on this matter, to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.  We requested a reply in a national capacity.

– NATO’s open-door policy

The US is reiterating its “strong support” for NATO’s “open-door policy.” However, this policy runs counter to the fundamental commitments made as part of the CSCE/OSCE, above all the commitment “to refrain from strengthening one’s own security at the expense of others.” Moreover, this is not consistent with the alliance’s policy documents either. According to a decision of the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Copenhagen on June 6-7 1991, the alliance “will neither seek unilateral advantage from the changed situation in Europe nor threaten the legitimate interests of any state,” try to “isolate any country, nor to seek a new division of the Continent.”

We call on the United States and NATO to return to fulfilling their international obligations with regard to maintaining peace and security. We expect concrete proposals from NATO members on the content and format of a legal confirmation of NATO refraining from any further eastward expansion.

– Package deal

We have noted the US’ willingness to take specific actions with regard to certain arms control and risk reduction measures. We have also noted that Washington has finally recognised a number of Russia’s respective proposals and initiatives advanced in recent years, as reasonable and justified.

At the same time, we must once again point out to the American side that the security guarantee proposals advanced by Russia call for a comprehensive and long-term resolution of the unacceptable situation that continues to develop in the Euro-Atlantic region. Above all, this involves creating a stable foundation for a new security architecture including an agreement on NATO refraining from further actions that harm Russia’s security. This remains an unchangeable imperative for us. If this strong foundation is not built, any interrelated arms control and military risk reduction measures that ensure restraint and predictability of military activity in certain areas – even if an agreement on this is reached – will not be sustainable in the long term.

Thus, Russia’s proposal is a package deal and should be considered in its entirety, not item by item.

In this regard, we would like to focus on the lack of a constructive reaction from Washington and Brussels to the most important elements of Russia’s initiative that we have clearly identified. As for arms control, we consider such measures only in the wider context of a comprehensive package approach to resolving the security guarantees problem.

– Post-START and the security equation

The United States is suggesting that we start drafting measures on continuing the START Treaty immediately as part of the dialogue on strategic stability. However, in the process the Americans are trying to formalise an approach that has not been coordinated with us. This approach is focused exclusively on nuclear weapons. Moreover, it disregards the capability of these and other weapons to pose a direct threat to the national territory of the other side. This unilateral view contradicts the understanding reached at the Russia-US summit in Geneva on June 16, 2021 regarding the comprehensive nature of the strategic dialogue that is necessary to lay a foundation for future arms control and risk reduction measures.

Russia will continue to advocate an integrated approach to strategic issues. We suggest drafting a new “security equation” through a cooperative effort.

We have informed the Americans about the components of our concept – and this remains relevant – for example, during meetings on a strategic dialogue, and in the working document on the components, which we sent on December 17, 2021.

– Deployment of nuclear weapons outside national territory

In its response, the United States did not specifically respond to our proposal on withdrawing nuclear weapons from other countries to its own national territory and renouncing further deployment of nuclear weapons outside national territory. The Americans only mentioned the need to discuss the problem of non-strategic nuclear arms during a strategic dialogue, regardless of the peculiarities of their deployments or other factors that affect mutual security.

We would like to explain that our proposals are designed to resolve the problem of US nuclear weapons capable of striking targets on Russian territory being deployed in non-nuclear NATO member countries, in violation of the NPT. This would include elimination of the infrastructure for the rapid deployment of such weapons in Europe and the cessation of the NATO practice of holding nuclear deterrence exercises with the participation of non-nuclear NATO countries. It is impossible to discuss non-strategic nuclear arms without removing this irritant.

– Ground-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles

We consider this issue one of the priorities of the Russian-US dialogue on strategic stability. We believe this category of arms is an essential component of a new “security equation” that Russia and the United States must develop together.

We continue to proceed from Russia’s topical post-INF initiatives that are based on the idea of reciprocal, verifiable moratoriums on the deployment of ground-based intermediate- and shorter-range missiles in Europe. In principle, we are open to a substantive discussion of the ways of implementing it. In the process, we note that Washington still has a vague approach to the main parameters of the potential measures to control these weapons, primarily, coverage that should spread to all nuclear and non-nuclear arms in the given range.

We have noted that the United States is using the Russian approach that provides for mutual settlement of reciprocal concerns in the context of the earlier INF Treaty. It is possible to consider the US-proposed version of our idea on mutual verification measures as regards Aegis Ashore systems in Romania and Poland and some facilities in the European part of Russia in the future.

As President of Russia Vladimir Putin emphasised in his statement on October 26, 2020 (the US has repeatedly been informed about this idea since then), the potential transparency measures as regards Russian facilities on which agreement must be reached, could include control over the absence of the Russian 9M729 missile there. As a reminder, this is a goodwill gesture because the characteristics of 9M729 missile do not contradict the requirements of the former INF Treaty in any way and because the United States has not presented any evidence to prove its accusations against Russia. That said, the Americans ignored our voluntary demonstration of the 9M729 missile, its technical specifications and its launcher, on January 23, 2019 when this treaty was still in force.

– Heavy bombers and surface warships.

We have noted the American side’s attention to Russia’s idea on ​​additional risk mitigation measures in relation to heavy bomber flights in the vicinity of the parties’   national borders. We consider this a subject for discussion and we can see a potential for mutually acceptable agreements here. We would like to point out to an equally important element of Russia’s package proposal related  to the identical cruises by  surface warships , which also involve serious risks.

– Military exercises and maneuvers.

The United States did not respond to the proposals in Paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the Russian draft agreement. Apparently, the American side believes that military tensions can be eased by increasing transparency and implementing additional danger reduction measures as part of the West’s proposals on updating the Vienna Document.

We consider such an approach to be unrealistic, one-sided, and aimed at “X-raying” the Russian Armed Forces’ activity. The confidence- and security-building measures under the Vienna Document of 2011 are relevant to the current situation. The necessary conditions should be created to start discussing the possibility of their upgrade.   For this, the United States and its allies ought to renounce their Russia containment policy and take concrete, practical measures to de-escalate the military-political situation, including as proposed in Paragraph 2 of Article 4 of Russia’s draft agreement.

As regards the prevention of incidents on the high seas and in the airspace above them, we welcome the US readiness for appropriate consultations. However, this work cannot replace the effort to solve the key problems highlighted by Russia.

February 17, 2022”

 

 

17 December 2021 13:30

Treaty between The United States of America and the Russian Federation on security guarantees

Unofficial translation

Draft

The United States of America and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”,

guided by the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the provisions of the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, the 1999 Charter for European Security, and the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Russian Federation,

recalling the inadmissibility of the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations both in their mutual and international relations in general,

supporting the role of the United Nations Security Council that has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security,

recognizing the need for united efforts to effectively respond to modern security challenges and threats in a globalized and interdependent world,

considering the need for strict compliance with the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs, including refraining from supporting organizations, groups or individuals calling for an unconstitutional change of power, as well as from undertaking any actions aimed at changing the political or social system of one of the Contracting Parties,

bearing in mind the need to create additional effective and quick-to-launch cooperation mechanisms or improve the existing ones to settle emerging issues and disputes through a constructive dialogue on the basis of mutual respect for and recognition of each other’s security interests and concerns, as well as to elaborate adequate responses to security challenges and threats,

seeking to avoid any military confrontation and armed conflict between the Parties and realizing that direct military clash between them could result in the use of nuclear weapons that would have far-reaching consequences,

reaffirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and recognizing the need to make every effort to prevent the risk of outbreak of such war among States that possess nuclear weapons,

reaffirming their commitments under the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Outbreak of Nuclear War of 30 September 1971, the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas of 25 May 1972, the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Establishment of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers of 15 September 1987, as well as the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities of 12 June 1989,

have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Parties shall cooperate on the basis of principles of indivisible, equal and undiminished security and to these ends:

shall not undertake actions nor participate in or support activities that affect the security of the other Party;

shall not implement security measures adopted by each Party individually or in the framework of an international organization, military alliance or coalition that could undermine core security interests of the other Party.

Article 2

The Parties shall seek to ensure that all international organizations, military alliances and coalitions in which at least one of the Parties is taking part adhere to the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 3

The Parties shall not use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party.

Article 4

The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

Article 5

The Parties shall refrain from deploying their armed forces and armaments, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas where such deployment could be perceived by the other Party as a threat to its national security, with the exception of such deployment within the national territories of the Parties.

The Parties shall refrain from flying heavy bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear armaments or deploying surface warships of any type, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas outside national airspace and national territorial waters respectively, from where they can attack targets in the territory of the other Party.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and cooperate to improve mechanisms to prevent dangerous military activities on and over the high seas, including agreeing on the maximum approach distance between warships and aircraft.

Article 6

The Parties shall undertake not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles outside their national territories, as well as in the areas of their national territories, from which such weapons can attack targets in the national territory of the other Party.

Article 7

The Parties shall refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their national territories and return such weapons already deployed outside their national territories at the time of the entry into force of the Treaty to their national territories. The Parties shall eliminate all existing infrastructure for deployment of nuclear weapons outside their national territories.

The Parties shall not train military and civilian personnel from non-nuclear countries to use nuclear weapons. The Parties shall not conduct exercises or training for general-purpose forces, that include scenarios involving the use of nuclear weapons.

Article 8

The Treaty shall enter into force from the date of receipt of the last written notification on the completion by the Parties of their domestic procedures necessary for its entry into force.

Done in two originals, each in English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

For the United States of America                                    For the Russian Federation

 

 

17 December 2021 13:26

Agreement on measures to ensure the security of The Russian Federation and member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Unofficial translation

Draft

The Russian Federation and the member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), hereinafter referred to as the Parties,

reaffirming their aspiration to improve relations and deepen mutual understanding,

acknowledging that an effective response to contemporary challenges and threats to security in our interdependent world requires joint efforts of all the Parties,

determined to prevent dangerous military activity and therefore reduce the possibility of incidents between their armed forces,

noting that the security interests of each Party require better multilateral cooperation, more political and military stability, predictability, and transparency,

reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the 1994 Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security, the 1999 Charter for European Security, and the Rome Declaration “Russia-NATO Relations: a New Quality” signed by the Heads of State and Government of the Russian Federation and NATO member States in 2002,

have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Parties shall guide in their relations by the principles of cooperation, equal and indivisible security. They shall not strengthen their security individually, within international organizations, military alliances or coalitions at the expense of the security of other Parties.

The Parties shall settle all international disputes in their mutual relations by peaceful means and refrain from the use or threat of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

The Parties shall not create conditions or situations that pose or could be perceived as a threat to the national security of other Parties.

The Parties shall exercise restraint in military planning and conducting exercises to reduce risks of eventual dangerous situations in accordance with their obligations under international law, including those set out in intergovernmental agreements on the prevention of incidents at sea outside territorial waters and in the airspace above, as well as in intergovernmental agreements on the prevention of dangerous military activities.

Article 2

In order to address issues and settle problems, the Parties shall use the mechanisms of urgent bilateral or multilateral consultations, including the NATO-Russia Council.

The Parties shall regularly and voluntarily exchange assessments of contemporary threats and security challenges, inform each other about military exercises and maneuvers, and main provisions of their military doctrines. All existing mechanisms and tools for confidence-building measures shall be used in order to ensure transparency and predictability of military activities.

Telephone hotlines shall be established to maintain emergency contacts between the Parties.

Article 3

The Parties reaffirm that they do not consider each other as adversaries.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and interaction on improving mechanisms to prevent incidents on and over the high seas (primarily in the Baltics and the Black Sea region).

Article 4

The Russian Federation and all the Parties that were member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as of 27 May 1997, respectively, shall not deploy military forces and weaponry on the territory of any of the other States in Europe in addition to the forces stationed on that territory as of 27 May 1997. With the consent of all the Parties such deployments can take place in exceptional cases to eliminate a threat to security of one or more Parties.

Article 5

The Parties shall not deploy land-based intermediate- and short-range missiles in areas allowing them to reach the territory of the other Parties.

Article 6

All member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commit themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of NATO, including the accession of Ukraine as well as other States.

Article 7

The Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shall not conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine as well as other States in the Eastern Europe, in the South Caucasus and in Central Asia.

In order to exclude incidents the Russian Federation and the Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shall not conduct military exercises or other military activities above the brigade level in a zone of agreed width and configuration on each side of the border line of the Russian Federation and the states in a military alliance with it, as well as Parties that are member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Article 8

This Agreement shall not affect and shall not be interpreted as affecting the primary responsibility of the Security Council of the United Nations for maintaining international peace and security, nor the rights and obligations
of the Parties under the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 9

This Agreement shall enter into force from the date of deposit of the instruments of ratification, expressing consent to be bound by it, with the Depositary by more than a half of the signatory States. With respect to a State that deposited its instrument of ratification at a later date, this Agreement shall enter into force from the date of its deposit.

Each Party to this Agreement may withdraw from it by giving appropriate notice to the Depositary. This Agreement shall terminate for such Party [30] days after receipt of such notice by the Depositary.

This Agreement has been drawn up in Russian, English and French, all texts being equally authentic, and shall be deposited in the archive of the Depositary, which is the Government of …

Done in [the city of …] this [XX] day of [XX] two thousand and [XX].

 

 

 

Ravi Batra, Esq.
+ posts

Ravi Batra, starting September 11, 2021, is a publisher of The America Times Company Ltd., and since January 2022, is the Editor-in-Chief. He is a member of the National Press Club, in Washington D.C., and a member of its "Freedom of the Press" and "International Correspondents" Teams/Committees.

A member of the bar since 1981, he is the head of a boutique law firm in Manhattan, The Law Firm of Ravi Batra, P.C., that handles complex constitutional, sovereignty, torture, civil and criminal cases, representing governments, corporates and individuals, with landmark legal victories, including, libel in fiction, in “Batra v. Dick Wolf.” He is Chairman & CEO, Greenstar Global Energy Corp., King Danylo of Galicia International Ltd., Mars & Pax Advisors, Ltd., Chairman of National Advisory Council on South Asian Affairs, and since September 2021, Advisor for Legal and Humanitarian Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Georgia to the United Nations. He is invited by various governments to address High Level Ministerial events, including, on Counter-Terrorism, including, Astana (Nur-Sultan), Dushanbe, Minsk and Delhi. He has testified in Congress as an invitee of the Chair, U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, and interacted with U.S. Department of State from 1984 -1990, and then again, from 2006, during the tenures of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Rex Tillerson, Mike Pompeo and Antony Blinken.

He has served as Commissioner of New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Trustee on New York State IOLA Board, New York State Judicial Screening Committee for the Second Judicial Department, City Bar’s Judicial Committee, Vice-Chair of Kings County Democratic County Committee’s Independent Judicial Screening Committee for the then-2nd Judicial Department of Brooklyn and Staten Island, Chair of NYSTLA’ Judicial Independence Committee, with many more bar leadership roles, including, NYSBA’s House of Delegates for four years. He has served as Advisor for Legal & Human Rights Affairs to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine post-annexation of Crimea till 2021, and Legal Advisor to numerous nations’ permanent missions to the U. N. since 2009, including, India, Pakistan, Honduras and Malta. He has served: as Global Special Counsel to The Antonov Company in Ukraine, a state-owned company, and was registered with the Justice Dept pursuant to FARA; and as Special Global Advisor to Rector/President of both - National Aviation University of Ukraine and National Technical University of Ukraine/KPI. He remains involved in geopolitics and public policy since the mid-1980's, starting with being on House Speaker Tip O’Neill’s Speaker’s Club and appointed member of NACSAA during President Ronald Reagan’s tenure. In 1988, he was part of U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese’s Delegation to Japan to resolve bilateral trade imbalance. He regularly interacts with the multilateral diplomatic community, and during the High Level UNGA Debate, with heads of State/Government. He is sought for his views as a speaker and writer. 

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