Today, on December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry revealed the draft documents on legal security guarantees from the US and NATO, which was promised to be done after the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, met Joe Biden. Later, the documents were passed to the US Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried.
As stated on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official website, the US party was given detailed explanations regarding the logic of the Russian approach, as well as the relevant arguments. The Russian side expressed its hope that the US will enter into serious talks with Russia in the near future regarding this matter, “which has critical importance for maintaining peace and stability.”
So, the “Agreement on Measures to Ensure the Security of the Russian Federation and the Member States of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation“, as the draft document was named, offers that Russia and its counterparts, reaffirming their aspiration to improve relations and noting that the security interests of each party require better multilateral cooperation have agreed a few points be decided.
Article 1 suggests that the parties shall guide in their relations by the principles of cooperation, equal and indivisible security and not strengthen their security individually, within international organizations, military alliances or coalitions at the expense of the security of other parties. Besides, all international disputes in their mutual relations shall be solved by peaceful means and refrain from the use or threat of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN.
"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 document states.
It is also offered that the parties exercise restraint in military planning and conducting exercises to reduce risks of eventual dangerous situations in accordance with their obligations under international law.
Article 2 proposes the parties use the mechanisms of urgent bilateral or multilateral consultations, including the NATO-Russia Council, to address issues and settle problems.
"The Parties shall regularly and voluntarily exchange assessments of contemporary threats and security challenges, inform each other about military exercises and manoeuvres, and the 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," the draft states.
In Article 3 it is said that the parties should reaffirm they do not consider each other as adversaries. According to the document, 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 states that Russia and all the parties that were member states of NATO as of 27 May 1997 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 the security of one or more Parties," the document states.
In addition, Article 5 suggests that 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 offers that all member states of NATO commit themselves to refrain from any further enlargement of the alliance, including the accession of Ukraine as well as other states.
Also, Article 7 says that the parties-member states of NATO shall not conduct any military activity on the territory of Ukraine as well as other states in Eastern Europe, in the South Caucasus, and in Central Asia.
In the next articles (Article 8 and Article 9), it is noted that the Agreement shall not be interpreted as affecting the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council for maintaining international peace and security. It is also mentioned that the Agreement should 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.
As reminded by RT, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, explained the need for the written agreement on security by the fact that the current relationship between Russia and the West is characterized by “an almost total lack of mutual trust” and taking into account that assurances and agreements given to Moscow by various US and European politicians in the 1990s have been broken, so the only way to solve the problem is by legally binding contracts.